The Union Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 14 December 2016 approved the Major Port Trust Authorities Bill, 2016. The bill replaces the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963.
The purpose of the legislation is to reform and improve the efficiency of major ports by giving greater autonomy and reforming the institutional structure.
Key features of Major Port Trust Authorities Bill, 2016
• It is more compact in comparison to the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963 as the number of sections were reduced from 134 to 65 by eliminating overlapping and obsolete sections.
• The new Bill has proposed a simplified composition of the Board of Port Authority. The bill reduced the number of board members from the 17-19 members to 11 members.
• The Boards of the Port Authority have been delegated full powers to enter into contracts, planning and development of ports.
• The bill empowers the Board to make its own master plan in respect of the area within the port limits.
• It empowers the board to undertake construction of pipelines, telephones, communication towers, electricity supply and transmission equipment in port limits.
• The board is empowered to lease land for port-related use for up to 40 years and for any purpose other than the purposes specified in section 22 of the Act for up to 20 years.
• The role of Tariff Authority for Major Ports [TAMP] has been redefined.
• Under the bill, the authority will be given powers to fix tariff for purposes of bidding for public-private partnership (PPP) projects.
The bill is a part of the government’s efforts to achieve port-led development under Sagar Mala initiative. Under the Sagar Mala project, the emphasis is on port modernisation,port-led industrialisation and development of coastal communities.
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When: 14 December 2016