The Shipping Ministry is freeing major ports from tariff control, a move that could put exporters at a disadvantage. The Ministry is planning to strip the powers of the Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP), which regulates tariffs at major ports, to boost private investment in the port sector and to make it attractive for private terminal operators to get return on their investment.

The government is mulling over the idea of getting out of tariff control and leaving the tariff settings to terminal operators. The Ministry in an advanced stage of announcing major policy changes, which are feared to make exporters and importers vulnerable to market forces.

Union Minister for Shipping G.K. Vasan said recently in Mumbai that the government would free all future major port projects from the TAMP and a decision would soon be taken on the existing ports as well.

He said the government would issue new guidelines on tariffs. Currently the TAMP regulates tariffs at 12 major ports, including the private terminals located therein. These ports handle 60 per cent of the business.

“In-principle” decision

Shipping Secretary P.K. Sinha said the Ministry had taken an ‘in-principle’ decision to abolish the tariff-setting regulator’s oversight for new projects.

Clarifying, he said that unlike today where the operators were being regulated by the TAMP, the new operators would be free to fix their own tariff and in the process the government would come out with a new policy for the TAMP, which would not fix tariff.

This would encourage more players to come into the port capacity building plan, he said at a maritime…

(Continued on Business Page)