Union shipping ministry released a draft guideline for the tariff structure of the Major Port Trusts (MPTs).
According to the guideline, the MPTs would be allowed to set their own tariff, which can be higher or lower than the reference tariff set by the Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP).
TAMP would fix the reference tariff for each port and for different commodities. The major ports will be allowed to revise their actual tariff once in a year and the new rate will come into effect from April 1.
MPTs will have to inform the TAMP in advance — at least 90 days — if the proposed actual tariff is higher than the reference tariff, the draft policy says. The proposal will include the upgraded efficiency standards to be maintained by the MPT-owned terminal. The TAMP will then invite suggestions and objections before deciding on the reference tariff.
The draft guideline has maintained that MPTs can take the matter to the shipping ministry in case they are not satisfied with the TAMP decision. The ministry will issue the final order, which will be binding on all parties.
India's 12 major ports handle 60 percent of the cargo traffic, while the rest is taken care of by non-major and private ports. At present, major ports' tariff is regulated.
The move, if implemented, would enable major ports to compete with non-major and private ports, which offer lucrative tariff.