Lok Sabha : Passed
Raja Sabha : Passed
President of India : Still pending with president of India
The Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of State for Shipping, Mr. Mansukh Mandaviya, on March 12, 2020. The Bill seeks to provide for regulation, operation and planning of major ports in India and provide greater autonomy to these ports. It seeks to replace the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963. Key features of the Bill include:
Application: The Bill will apply to the major ports of Chennai, Cochin, Jawaharlal Nehru Port, Kandla, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Mangalore, Mormugao, Paradip, V.O. Chidambaranar, and Vishakhapatnam.
Major Port Authorities Board: Under the 1963 Act, all major ports are managed by the respective Board of Port Trusts that have members appointed by the central government. The Bill provides for the creation of a Board for each major port. These Boards will replace the existing Port Trusts.
Composition of Board: The Board will comprise of a Chairperson and a deputy Chairperson, both of whom will be appointed by the central government on the recommendation of a selection committee. Further, it will include one member each from (i) the respective state governments, (ii) the Railways Ministry, (iii) the Defence Ministry, and (iv) the Customs Department. The Board will also include two to four independent members, and two members representing the interests of the employees of the Major Port Authority.
Fixing of rates: Currently, the Tariff Authority for Major Ports, established under the 1963 Act, fixes the scale of rates for assets and services available at ports. Under the Bill, the Board or committees appointed by the Board will determine these rates for assets and services available at ports.
They may determine rates for:
(i) services that will be performed at ports,
(ii) the access to and usage of the port assets, and
Such fixing of rates under the provisions of the Competition Act, 2002.
Financial powers of the Board: Under the 1963 Act, the Board has to seek prior sanction of the central government to raise any loan. Under the Bill, to meet its capital and working expenditure requirements, the Board may raise loans from any: (i) scheduled bank or financial institution within India, or (ii) any financial institution outside India that is compliant with all the laws. However, for loans above 50% of its capital reserves, the Board will require prior sanction of the central government.