The ministry of shipping has drawn out an investment plan of Rs 1,55,455 crore for modernisation and expansion of ports during the 12th Plan period and has projected that this may be achievable with less than 5 per cent gross budgetary support (GBS) from the government.
Relying mostly on private sector investment and internal accruals,an investment of Rs 59,571 crore is envisaged for major ports and Rs 95,883 crore is planned for minor ports between 2012-2017. The idea is to double the capacity of ports to about 2,590 million tonnes in the next plan period.
Significantly,the Centre is likely to rely on public-private partnership (PPP) funds to the extent of 52 per cent of the total planned investment while the balance 48 per cent is expected to come from internal resources and extra budgetary resources (EBRs). However,state governments expect that about 97 per cent of the total investment of Rs 95,883 crore may come from PPP and the balance 3 per cent from other resources.
Major ports in India suffer from poor draft,which prevents cape size vehicles from berthing and goods are mostly trans-shipped from Singapore,Dubai and Colombo on smaller vessels.
To upgrade the current draft to the level of 18 metres or more for major ports,an investment of Rs 6,600 crore has been proposed towards dredging with about Rs 34,000 ear marked for berths. With Prime Minister Manmohan Singh laying stress on encouraging port connectivity projects through rail and road to cut the shipment time of goods,about Rs 16,000 crore is proposed under this head to connect the 12 major ports better and Rs 5,000 crore is proposed for improving connectivity with non-major ports.
We plan to step up the capacity of major ports from about 740 million tonnes at the end of 11th Plan to 1328 million tonnes by 2017. For non-major ports,a higher growth is projected from 498 million tonnes at the end of March 2012 to 1,263 MT by 2017, a senior government official associated with the process said. The traffic at major ports is expected to go up from 629 MT in 2012 to 1,031 MT in 2017.
With the ministry having submitted its investment plans,it is now the task of the HLCFI to work out the source of funding for each sector and submit a report to the Prime Minister. The idea is gauge the depth in the market for this kind of resource mobilisation, the official said.