Union Minister for Shipping Mr. G K Vasan today announced in Mumbai the new Guidelines for determination of tariff for major port projects in the country. The new simplified guidelines are expected to pave way for increased investment flows into the port sector.
Addressing a press conference, Mr Vasan said “the new guidelines allow the competitive market forces to play a greater role in tariff determination and impart flexibility. This is a major step forward.”
The Shipping Ministry had been contemplating to come up with new tariff guidelines in response to feedback received from various stakeholders, who felt the existing Tariff Authority for Major Ports™ regulations were detrimental to the growth of the sector. It was also felt that there was no level playing field between the major ports and the non-major ports, as the latter were outside the ambit of TAMP.
The Minister informed that an Inter-Ministerial Task Force headed by Member, Planning Commission B KChaturvedi, looked into the issue in a holistic manner and gave its recommendations. Mr Vasan said “the new guidelines are being issued after extensive consultations with all the stakeholders and I hope that they will encourage more private investment in port projects.”
The Ministry of Shipping has set an ambitious target to award 30 port projects during 2013-14, which would add 288 Million Tons Per Annum (MTPA), with an investment of approximately Rs 25,000 crores. This includes Rs 8000 crore big ticket project of the fourth container terminal at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port, JNPT in Navi Mumbai.
During 2012-13 the Ministry awarded 32 port projects at an estimated cost of Rs 6,765 crores, entailing capacity addition of 136 MTPA.
The new guidelines for determination of tariff for projects and major ports come into force with immediate effect. Beside providing for tariffs to be indexed to inflation, they also set out performance standards for port projects to improve accountability and ensure improved quality of service. The focus TAMP will now gradually shift to performance monitoring and redressing grievances.