Ports bill being drafted to make tariffs transparent

  • October 9, 2023
  • News

The Central Govt. is at present working on drafting a new legislative framework for ports to introduce transparency in port tariffs, update penalties for offences, etc. This is done to replace the 110 years of mundane rules with new sets of rules that are helpful and transparent to the stakeholders.

A high-ranking government official has confirmed the development by stating that the proposed Indian Ports Bill for 2023 is envisioned to replace the Indian Ports Act from 1908. The aim is to provide authority to the Maritime States Development Council (MSDC) and boost coordinated planning between states and the Centre regarding port development.

The new legislation will assist in the more precise determination of port tariffs. According to the official, the new port tariff that is proposed comprises various components, including port duties, with a strong emphasis on transparency and deregulation.

Under the existing laws, major ports are administered by the Centre, while non-major ports fall under state jurisdiction and this rule has not been amended in the new bill. However, according to the proposed bill, the central government can instruct any port to adopt a system for electronically integrating port-related data into a centralised system.

This recent amendment takes a moderate approach by toning down contentious provisions that appeared to infringe upon the rights of state governments, which were suggested in previous versions.