The Madras High Court has stayed the 35 per cent cut in terminal tariff fixed by the Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP) for Chennai Container Terminal Private Ltd at the Chennai Port.
On May 5, TAMP announced an across-the-board 35 per cent reduction in terminal tariff, even as the private container operator, DP World, Chennai, sought an increase based on future container traffic projections. In the normal course, the order would have come into force from May 20 and valid till March 2013.
DP World approached the Madras High Court challenging the tariff cut.
When the matter came before Justice S. Rajeswaran on Thursday, counsel for DP World Chennai argued that it had initially sought a 17 per cent increase in tariff, but later scaled it down to 13 per cent. In these circumstances, the 35 per cent reduction came as a shock to it, as it would result in a monthly loss of Rs.10 crore to the container operator and Chennai Port. He sought maintenance of status quo on collection of levy of charges as on date.
In a brief order, Mr. Justice Rajeswaran said there would be an interim stay insofar as it related to collection of levy of charges and that the petitioner was permitted to charge at the existing rate for a period of eight weeks.
Armed with the interim order, DP World Chennai on Friday sent out a notice to the trading community, advising them that until further notice from the terminal, it would continue invoicing its customers for services rendered at the Terminal as per the Scale of Rates notified by the Tariff Authority for Major Ports as per Order passed on June 19, 2008.
When contacted, port users expressed disappointment over the non-implementation of TAMP's order. They were eagerly awaiting a significant cut in their costs as a result of the expected tariff reduction, but the interim order had put paid to their hopes.
DP World, Chennai, sought an increase based on future traffic projections Petitioner permitted to charge at the existing rate for a period of eight weeks
DP World, Chennai, sought an increase based on future traffic projections
Petitioner permitted to charge at the existing rate for a period of eight weeks