Cabinet approves Major Port Authorities Bill, 2016

The Union cabinet has approved the Ministry of Shipping’s (MoS) proposal to replace the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963 by the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2016. The new bill has been framed keeping in view the need to give greater autonomy and flexibility to major ports. The bill is more compact in comparison to the act it replaces as the number of sections has been reduced to 65 from 134. The composition of the board has been simplified and will comprise 11 members including three to four independent members. The role of the Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP) has been modified and the port authority has now been given powers to fix tariffs, which will act as reference tariffs for the purposes of bidding for public-private partnership projects. Moreover, the creation of an independent review board has been proposed to carry out the residual functions of the erstwhile TAMP.