• The Ministry of Shipping is keen on getting the Major Ports Authority Bill adopted during the next session of Parliament
• Relaxation of Cabotage law removing curbs on moving domestic cargo in foreign vessels will help conversion of Visakhapatnam Port into a Transhipment hub
NEW DELHI: Buoyed by relaxation of Cabotage law, Major Ports are set to get another bonanza with the Major Ports Authority Bill set to end the Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP) regime.
At present, there is no price parity between Minor and Major Ports as TAMP regime is applicable only to the latter. The Minor Ports, which have plans for massive expansion on par with Major Ports enjoy the distinctive advantage of fixing their own tariff as per their convenience. On the other hand, the Major Ports are governed by the judgments and tariff fixed by the TAMP.
The Centre has promised to end TAMP regime with the enactment of Major Ports Authority Bill but there is no clarity as to whether the revised rules will be applicable to BOT operators. However, a grievance redressal mechanism is proposed.
The bill which was drafted in 2016 could not find passage in Parliament due to stalemate in the last session. The Ministry of Shipping is keen on getting it adopted during the next session.
“Relaxation of Cabotage law removing curbs on moving domestic cargo in foreign vessels will help conversion of Visakhapatnam Port into a transhipment hub by transporting container cargo from Paradip, Kolkata-Haldia and vast hinterland in the East Coast, the end of TAMP will ensure a level-playing field for Major and Minor Ports,” a stevedore said.
Visakhapatnam Port, which is making efforts to become a gateway to South East Asia, has also represented to the Centre several times for ending the TAMP regime for a level-playing field. The Minor Ports do not come under the control of the Central Government. They are at liberty to finalise their own tariff depending on the situation whereas the Major Ports have to seek permissions for offering discounts or enhancing tariff as per the orders issued by TAMP.