The Indian Ports Bill, 2021, met with broad opposition from the coastal states of Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Odisha. The states protested against the proposed dilution of their authority over small ports, the engines of state economies.
Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister, Deputy Stalin, in a letter dated June 22, urged the chief ministers of nine coastal states to register their dissent against the bill, saying: “Many powers currently exercised by the state governments would be taken over by the Union government. “.
“This decision by the central government to bring in a new bill will have long-term negative implications for the management of minor ports, since state governments will no longer have a major role, if the bill is adopted,” Stalin said in the letter. .
Odisha, who is in the process of setting up her own maritime council, also wrote to Union Minister Mandaviya, expressing concerns.
“The proposed arrangement, instead of making India a strong maritime nation, will hamper the growth of port-led development in the nation through the centralization of its authority,” said Minister of Trade and Transport of Odisha, Padmanabha Behera, in a letter dated June 29, The time of India reported.
The letter further stated that assigning routine functions, such as conducting surveys, deciding on tariff structure, etc., to the MSDC would reduce the efficiency of port operations.
Last year, the Gujarat Maritime Council, a statutory body of the Gujarat government led by the BJP, also opposed the centralization of power proposed in the bill, saying it would make the maritime council long-standing. almost redundant, Indian express reported.
(With contributions from Times of India and The Indian Express)