Assocham calls for comprehensive port development strategy

Hyderabad, May 24 (IANS) Industry body, Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham), has called for a comprehensive port development strategy and for providing level playing field to private players.

In its report on ports development in India, released here Friday, it underlined the need to expand the existing framework to attract participation from the private sector for development of infrastructure facilities and other related activities to make India’s ports infrastructure on par with the international standard.

Releasing the report, Assocham secretary general D.S. Rawat said private participation in port development was affected by lack of level playing field for them, hinterland connectivity, especially lack of coordination between road, rail and port authorities, absence of long term guarantees and proper risk allocation.

The study also pointed out that the uncertainty about the relationship between the major and minor ports as well as between the existing and green field ports was affecting the development of new ports.

“The procedural issues that come in the way of getting statutory clearances for the development of minor ports in the wake of apprehensions raised about ensuring adequate business for the incumbent ports and the issue of bringing minor ports under the regulation of Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP) have held back the private investments in the minor ports,” it said.

Assocham called upon all maritime states to emulate the success stories of Gujarat and Odisha in port development.

Sannareddy, chairman of the Assocham Southern Region Council, pointed out that out of the total 881 public private partnership (PPP) projects worth over Rs.5.4 lakh crore taken up under the PPP model across India, 62 projects in the port sector worth over Rs.82,000 crore are in the different stages of implementation.

While 21 PPP projects in the port sector worth over Rs.43,000 crore are under construction, eight projects worth about Rs.14,000 crore are under bidding.

As many as 31 PPP port projects worth over Rs.24,700 crore are under operation in India as of April 30, 2013. Gujarat accounts for over 50 percent share with 12 completed PPP projects worth over Rs.12,400 crore.

Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu each with three projects under operation have garnered a share between 5-6 percent followed by Kerala (2.8 percent).

The study revealed that Andhra Pradesh accounts for lion’s share of over 46 percent with three projects worth over Rs.20,000 crore under construction under PPP model as of April 30, 2013.

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