NEW DELHI: Major Ports, including the one in Visakhapatnam, have intensified campaign to convince the Centre to ensure a level-playing field for them to compete with Non-Major Ports.
Though the Union Shipping Ministry had promised sometime ago that the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2016, repealing the Major Port Trusts Act of 1963 will end the Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP) regime, there is no clarity yet on concession agreements signed before the bill gets enacted.
Regulator is applicable to all berths in Major Ports whereas the Non-Major Ports, which have come up in the private sector, are exempted from tariff regulation.
“This enables the Non-Major Ports to give hefty discounts depending on the need and adopt flexibility in charging tariff to the users to snatch away traffic from nearby Major Ports,” a senior official of Visakhapatnam Port said.
All the 12 Major Ports handled a throughput of 647.43 million tonne accounting for 61% of total cargo during 2016-17.
The Non-Major Ports taking advantage of exemption from TAMP regime indulge in taking away clients from the Major Ports by offering them discounted pricing as well as free storage for the cargo in their stack-yards.
To prevent the unhealthy trend, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport recently submitted a report to the Government not to allow new ports within 100 km from the vicinity of Major Ports.