To improve the efficiency of major ports in the country, the Shipping Ministry has decided to gauge their performances based on Results Framework Document (RFD) instead of following the two-decade-old Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) route.

In a path breaking move, RFD will be introduced in Chennai Port Trust (ChPT) from the current year onwards and thereafter it would be emulated by others, its Chairman Atulya Misra told The Hindu recently.

Even now, essential parameters of major ports with reference to traffic and financial matters are fixed by the Shipping Ministry through MoU. It was decided at a recent meeting to allow the ports to finalise their RFDs based on capacity augmentation, efficiency and progress made on certain projects, he said.

According to Mr. Misra, the vision of RFD is to make the ports become the economic thrust engine for growth of Southern India and become a major transhipment hub in the east coast. RFD is introduced to augment capacity; maintain/improve draught of channels for berthing of ships; provide efficient, safe and timely service at optimum cost; enhance traffic through output; improve the performance and efficiency of container handling to the global standards; provide world class marine services to the vessels; augment capacity by developing world class infrastructure; and to ensure quick turn round of vessels.

Apart from fixing its own target using Results Frame Management System software, the ChPT’s RFD will also specify the performance requirement from other departments such as Ministries of Road, Transport and Highways, Finance, Railways, Defence, External Affairs, Environment and Forest, Department of Expenditure, Cabinet Secretariat and Planning Commission calling for speedy and timely completion of projects, approvals and clearances for public-private partnership projects.

During 2012-13, the ChPT achieved most of the MoU targets with reference to overall pre-berthing detention, turnaround time, idle time at berth and output per ship in tonnage.

However, there was a slight slippage in terms of total tonnage as mentioned in MoU, as ChPT was banned from handling dusty cargoes. Based on the RFD, a plan of action will be prepared during 2013-14 for generating traffic based on clean cargo, capacity addition will be segregated into three different categories and higher weightage will be given for timely completion, he said.