that the term “port-related activities” is ambiguous. “It is difficult to categorically distinguish between operational and non-operational activities. This needs more clarity,” says a ports consultant at an international firm.
According to the new guidelines, ports can lease out land through a tender to develop storage facilities and cargo-related activities. “It is a significant step from the ministry as it leads to greater transparency and can increase the efficiency at ports. Most ports had not been able to leverage land over the last few years,” says JNPT's chairman-in-charge NN Kumar.
Agencies essential for the functioning of the port, like customs, health, electricity and government schools and colleges, would get a discount on rents of up to 75% from the port trusts.
“With this, the shipping ministry has vested more powers with the individual major ports. Individual ports would have a better understanding about the value of the land and what use it can be put to, and who the tenants can be,” says Anand Sharma, director, Mantrana Maritime Advisory.