In a move that is set to benefit developers and operators of all major and minor ports in the state, the state Cabinet on Tuesday modified the state’s port policy to lower the port and wharfage charges. It also announced major concessions for private port operators.
The Indian National Shipowners Association, a collective of shipping companies, and the Association of Multimodal Transport Operators of India, among others had earlier approached the state government for extending sops and concessions offered to other industries under the state’s industrial promotion policy to cargo carriers. A demand to lower the port handling charges was also made.
Responding to their demands, the Cabinet has given a nod to halve the wharfage charges for existing concessionaire. The concession periods for developments of greenfield ports and multipurpose jetties was also increased from 35 years to 50 years. The government, however, has retained the rider that 100 per cent capital investment for such developments will have to be made within the first 35 years.
The state has also introduced amendments permitting imports and exports from a multipurpose jetty. With the Centre pushing for the development of waterways along the Mumbai coastline, the government has also permitted the use of jetties controlled by the Maharashtra Maritime Board to be used for running transportation services, tourism, training, and research.
Maharashtra has a total of 591 ports. The government also has plans to categorise 20 ports along the Raigad coast as “sensitive” to enhance the security arrangements around.
With the multimodal transport operators also demanding a reduction in goods and services charges, the state government has decided to take the issue up with the Centre.
Provisions regarding developments on foreshore lands in Mumbai and Thane have also been specified, said sources.
Govt plans to categorise 20 ports along Raigad coast as ‘sensitive