The Government is regularly monitoring the Port projects for development/ expansion of the Major Ports. Port Projects such as construction of berths, installation of state of the art equipment, mechanisation of cargo handling system and dredging projects to accommodate large size vessels, etc. help in improving the operational efficiencies at major ports. Some of the major policy and procedural steps taken by Government in the recent past are:
(i) To bring the Major Ports at par with the International standards, a study on Benchmarking of efficiency and productivity of Major Ports was carried out. The study has identified 116 port-wise action points/initiatives, of which 91 initiatives have already been completed.
(ii) A new Special Purpose Vehicle, namely Indian Port Rail Corporation Ltd. has been set up as a public limited company to undertake last mile rail connectivity projects in Major Ports so as to improve their handling capacities and efficiency.
(iii) A new Major Port Authorities Bill to give greater operational freedom to the board of Major Ports in tune with present day requirements has been introduced in the Lok Sabha.
(iv) Land Policy Guidelines containing the regulatory framework for land allotment by Major Ports through a transparent auction cum tender route has been issued.
(v) Model Concession Agreement (MCA) for PPP projects and dredging projects in port sector has been revised.
(vi) New Policy for Stevedoring, Berthing and Captive projects has been issued.
(vii) Rationalisation of maintenance dredging has been done at Major Ports.
(viii) Order dated 2.9.2015 has been issued by the Ministry for relaxation of cabotage for special vessels such as RO-RO’ Hybrid RO-RO, RO Pure Car Carriers, Pure Car and Truck Carriers, LNG vessels and over- Dimensional, Cargo or Project Cargo, Carriers, for a period of 5 years from the date of order.
(ix) Order dated 21.5.2018 has been issued by the Ministry for relaxation of coastal movement of EXIM transhipment containers and Empty Containers.
(x) Revised Security Guidelines for PPP and Dredging projects has been issued.
As a result of pro-active policy initiatives taken by the Ministry, Major ports have witnessed following major achievements during 2017-18:
(i) Average Turn-Round Time, which was 82.28 hrs during 2016-17, came down to 64.43 hrs.
(ii) Average Output per Ship Berthday improved during 2017-18. It was 15333 tonnes during 2017-18, whereas during 2016-17, it was 14576 tonnes.
(iii) Major Ports handled 679.37 million tonnes cargo during 2017-18 with a growth of 4.78% over 2016-17.
(iv) Around 92 MTPA capacity was added in Major ports during 2017-18. Total capacity of Major portswhich was 1359 MTPA during 2016-17 reached to the level of 1451.19 MTPA during 2017-18.
(v) Operating Surplus of Major Ports increased by Rs. 916.22 crores during 2017-18 over the corresponding period of last year. It was Rs. 4979.58 crores during 2016-17 and Rs. 5895.80 crores during 2017-18.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Shipping Shri PonRadhakrishnan gave this information in reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.