Shipping Department Invites Comments on Revised Indian Ports Bill

By PTI IST (Released)


The proposed bill will bring state maritime councils into the national framework, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) said in a statement.

The Department of Transport on Thursday sought comments from stakeholders on the revised draft Indian Ports Bill, which aims to promote the ease of doing business by eliminating unnecessary delays and defining responsibilities.

The bill also aims to homogenize and rationalize the development of the maritime sector.

The proposed bill will bring state maritime councils into the national framework, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) said in a statement.

In addition, the Maritime States Development Council will ensure cooperative federalism where Central and State/UT governments will work together to prepare a phased roadmap for the country, he added.

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Redundant provisions of the law have been removed or replaced with contemporaneous provisions, according to the statement.

Additionally, existing penalties in the law that are obsolete have been updated regarding amounts and offenses relevant to current scenarios, he noted.

Three earlier versions of the bill were circulated by the ministry to various stakeholders, including major ports, state governments, state maritime boards and various central government departments, the statement said, adding that the bill on Intellectual Property, 2022, has been formulated bearing in mind all the comments received.

According to the statement, the proposed bill has been prepared to consolidate and amend laws relating to ports, for the prevention and containment of pollution in ports, to ensure compliance with the country’s obligation under the maritime treaties and international instruments to which India is a party.

It also aims to fill gaps in the dispute resolution framework required for the burgeoning port sector. The Indian Ports Act, 1908 is over 110 years old.

It has become imperative that the law be overhauled to reflect current frameworks, incorporate India’s international obligations and respond to emerging environmental concerns.

According to the statement, the main objectives of the proposed bill include promoting integrated planning between inter-se states and central states through a purely advisory and recommendatory framework and ushering in transparency and cooperation in development. and other aspects through the use of data.

Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal, said this bill will help build trust among more players, thereby increasing their participation and promoting healthy competition in the sector. maritime.

He said this would lead to increased economic activity, larger markets and a significant increase in associated employment opportunities.

India has a 7,500 km long coastline, 14,500 km of potentially navigable waterways and a strategic location on major international maritime trade routes.

About 95% of India’s trade by volume and 65% by value is through port-facilitated maritime transport. The ministry invited stakeholders to comment until August 30, 2022.


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