The Government of India has issued a draft India Ports Bill, 2022 for stakeholder consultation to revamp the British-era legislation of the port sector
The draft is created to amend the laws about ports under the maritime treaties and international instruments to which India is a party. The draft includes:
Prevention of pollution at the port
Conservation of ports
Establish state maritime boards at the non-major ports for effective administration and control
Redressal of port disputes
Optimum utilization of the coastline of India
Establish a council for the structured growth of the port sector
This bill, if approved, will repeal and replace the existing 1908 Act. The prime objectives of the proposed bills are multiple folds: to encourage integrated planning between Central – States, and interstate by a consultative and recommendatory framework, prevention of pollution for all ports in India, manage dispute resolution framework needed for emerging port sectors and bring in visibility, and cooperation through the use of strategic data.
It is evident that the draft Indian Ports Bill 2022 has been crafted to amend the older laws and will streamline the development of the maritime sector. It will integrate State Maritime Boards into the national framework to eliminate delays and disagreements while describing responsibilities. Before the draft was prepared, three earlier versions were circulated by the Ministry to Major ports, state governments, state maritime boards, and other central government ministries and all the feedback and remarks received are incorporated in the draft IP Bill 2022.
The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Waterway said that the bill will help increase economic activity and employment opportunities.