NATIONAL

Ports Bill introduced in Lok Sabha

No plan for privatisation: Minister

A Bill seeking to provide autonomy to India’s major ports to improve efficiency and competitiveness was introduced in the Lok Sabha amid objections by the Opposition parties who wanted the government to redraft the legislation to remove ambiguity.

Introducing the Major Ports Authority Bill, 2020, Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said the idea behind the Bill was not to privatise the 12 major ports but to give them more powers to take decisions in a competitive market.

Congress MPs Shashi Tharoor, Hibi Eden and Trinamool Congress’s Saugata Roy opposed the Bill at the introduction stage, saying the government should go back to the drafting table to bring in more clarity.

Responding to the concerns, the Minister said the number of labour trustees remains the same as earlier.

The Bill proposes to repeal the Major Port Trusts Act 1963. The Bill was later introduced by a voice vote.

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