LS passes Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020

Published: Sep 24, 2020, 12:39 am IST

New Delhi: The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020 which seeks to provide autonomy to India’s 12 major ports and vest the administration, control and management of such ports upon the boards of major port authorities.

The Bill seeks to replace the Major Port Act, 1963. It provides for the creation of a board of major port authority for each major port. These boards will replace the existing Port Trusts.

Union Minister of State for Shipping Mansukh L. Mandaviya moved the Bill to provide for the regulation, operation and planning of major ports in India and to vest the administration, control and management of such ports upon the boards of major port authorities.

The Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha by Mandaviya on March 12 this year during the Budget Session of the Parliament.

The Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020 was the last Bill to be passed by the Lok Sabha during the Monsoon Session which began on September 14. The proceedings of the session were curtailed on Wednesday as the Lower House was adjourned sine die.

The Bill will apply to the major ports of Chennai, Cochin, Jawaharlal Nehru Port, Kandla, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Mangalore, Mormugao, Paradip, V.O. Chidambaranar, and Visakhapatnam.

Under the 1963 Act, the boards have to seek prior sanction of the Central government to raise any loan. Under the Bill, to meet its capital and working expenditure requirements, the boards may raise loans from any scheduled bank or financial institution within India, or any financial institution outside the country that is compliant with all the laws.

However, for loans above 50 per cent of their capital reserves, the boards will require prior sanction from the Central government.

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