The Indian government has approved a bill designed to make its maritime sector more efficient by giving its ports more autonomy over governance and decisions.
According to national and international reports, the Major Ports Authority Bill 2020 was approved by the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
It will be introduced to the Indian parliament and, upon approval, will replace replace the current 1963 Major Port Trusts Act.
The bill will help Indian ports accelerate infrastructure improvements and negotiate agreements with private investors and terminal operators.
The bill will also help ports determine tariffs for various port-related services, as well as bring broader transparency to operations.
India has 12 ports handling inbound and outbound goods. On 7 February 2020, Port Technology International (PTI) reported that the government had approved the construction of a new 20 million TEU mega-port on its west coast.
Based on current global TEU traffic it would be the seventh busiest port in the world and by far the biggest in India, dwarfing the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT).
Ports are central to India’s long term economic policy, in particular its International North South Trade Corridor (INSTC), an initiative PTI has covered.