Andhra Pradesh

Power to regulate minor ports should be with States: Minister

Mekapati Goutham Reddy  

Industries and Commerce Minister Mekapati Goutham Reddy has suggested that the States’ Maritime Boards should be vested with the powers of a Maritime Port Regulatory Authority (MPRA) as in the case of major ports.

Participating in the Maritime States’ Development Council meeting held virtually on Thursday, he pointed out that the draft Indian Ports Bill, 2020, provides for the constitution of a single MPRA for all the minor ports, whereas there were 13 regulatory authorities for as many major ports under the Major Ports Regulatory Authority Act, 2020. “This is discriminatory,” he stated.

Mr. Goutham Reddy said the legal department of Government of Andhra Pradesh was still reviewing the Bill, and that the regulation of minor ports could not be done by the Centre.

The power to regulate the minor ports should be with the States as the subject fell in the Concurrent List.

‘Exempt existing facilities’

If the Central government intended to proceed to enact the Bill in spite of the objections raised by the States, it should consider exempting the existing operational ports and the ports under construction in the maritime States, Mr. Goutham Reddy appealed.

The Minister further said that A.P. was developing three ports at Bhavanapadu, Machilipatnam and Ramayapatnam to realise the State’s potential for growth in the maritime sector.

Besides, emphasis was laid on the development of the fisheries sector in which A.P. was ranked first in the country with a 24% share in the national production. A.P. contributes 1.61% of the global production.

Mr. Goutham Reddy said A.P. was looking forward to better road and rail connectivity to the seaports at Gangavaram, Krishnapatnam and Kakinada, and it was thankful to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways for sanctioning 32 road projects.

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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 10:49:28 PM |

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