1. Kolkata Port Trust to get royalty of Rs 14.77/tonne of cargo handling

Kolkata Port Trust to get royalty of Rs 14.77/tonne of cargo handling

Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) is poised to get a royalty of R14.77 for per tonne of cargo handling with Ripley & Co emerging...

By: | Kolkata | Updated: January 24, 2015 1:05 AM

Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) is poised to get a royalty of R14.77 for per tonne of cargo handling with Ripley & Co emerging as the highest bidder following a tender for granting handling agency licence. This can fetch the ailing port revenue of above R60 crore per annum. The selected agent will be required to do shore handling as well as supply man power and equipment for handling dry bulk cargo.

Prior to tendering, stevedores have been carrying out shore operations without paying any royalty to the ports. Ripley was charged of carrying out restrictive trade depriving the port of legitimate revenue. But with a new government at the Centre, paying royalty has been made mandatory in the country’s major ports.

Ripley chief executive officer Shoumik Bose said the company was not averse to paying royalty and so participated in the tender.

“We cannot be held responsible for not paying royalty. Rather it was the government’s fault of not having such a scheme. Now that there is a royalty scheme it should be extended to all major ports,” Bose said.

While the handling agent has been selected, the port is yet to make the royalty effective. “The royalty should be made simultaneously effective across all major ports following completion of the tendering process,” a KoPT official said.

KoPT chairman RPS Kahlon said among the 10 bidders, who participated in the royalty tender, Ripley & Co emerged as the highest bidder quoting a royalty of R14.77 per tonne.

KoPT had fixed a minimum revenue sharing of R13 per tonne above a port charge, whose ceiling has been fixed at R119.48 per tonne.
Other port handling agents such as JM Baxi, Lee & Muirhead and AM Enterprise, however, claimed that the port charge has been fixed on faulty lines without considering inflation that has taken place over the past few years.

The ceiling rate has been fixed following 2011 rates, while 2014 rates are much higher at R143.38 per tonne.

“If the ceiling rate is established in Haldia port, rates will have to be similar in other major ports. Such a rate will put tremendous pressure on cargo handlers and operations at major ports will become unviable giving private ports an edge over major ports,” an official of a stevedoring firm said on the condition of anonymity.

Handlers, along with Ripley & Co, have already moved the Calcutta High Court challenging the ceiling rate.

The Calcutta High Court had first put stay on the tender and, thereafter, vacated it asking the complainants to file a writ. The court directed the port to continue with the tender process untill further orders.

Former KoPT chairman Bikram Sarkar said a ceiling rate is against the concept of market economy because it hampers price discovery.

The government plans to bring major ports under a ceiling rate while keeping all private ports out of it.

“There should be a level playing field for all ports across the country,” Sarkar said.

Port charge
* KoPT had fixed a minimum revenue sharing of R13 per tonne above a port charge, whose ceiling has been fixed at R119.48 per tonne
* Agents say the port charge has been fixed on faulty lines without taking inflation into account
* The ceiling rate has been fixed following 2011 rates, while 2014 rates are much higher at R143.38 per tonne

  1. H
    HDCofficersforum
    Jan 26, 2015 at 5:43 pm
    Why does this newspaper want to increase the cost of cargo handling at Haldia Port and ensure diversion of cargo away from Haldia to other neighbouring ports like Dhamra and Paradip. The rate of Rs.119.48 Per Mt is a tentative rate based on KoPT's costs. The rate if fixed by TAMP under TAMP Guidelines 2005 on the basis of private players' costs will definitely come down further. Why is this newspaper so frustrated about the cargo handling rates coming down at govt-owned ports?
    Reply
    1. Ramakant Burman
      Jan 26, 2015 at 5:36 pm
      Has this story been written for the cargo handlers? why does newspaper want to increase cost of cargo handling at the ports and increase the incomes of the cargo handling agents?
      Reply
      1. Ramakant Burman
        Jan 26, 2015 at 4:40 pm
        The Ceiling rate of Rs.119.48 Per MT has been fixed by TAMP for KoPT. This is highest possible rate as this is based on KoPT's costs. This is a tentative rate which will come down further if the private companies' costs are taken into account. Private costs are always lower than KoPT's costs. Therefore, the rate if fixed by TAMP based on the actual costs of the private players will come down instead of going up as proposed in the story.
        Reply
        1. Ramakant Burman
          Jan 26, 2015 at 5:31 pm
          This rate is a tentative to be finally fixed by TAMP on the basis of private players' cost as per TAMP Guidelines. If that is done the rate will come down drastically and will definitely be below Rs.119.48 Per MT
          Reply

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