New Shipping Board in India to Fix Tariff at Major Ports, Adjudicate PPP Disputes

Posted by Written by Naina Bhardwaj Reading Time: 3 minutes

India recently notified the formulation of the Major Ports Adjudicatory Board, which will replace the existing Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP). The new Board will take over as the nodal body for tariff setting and public-private partnership (PPP) dispute resolution for all 12 major ports in India.


On January 17, 2023, India notified the Major Ports Adjudicatory Board Rules, 2023 (see here), for setting up the Major Ports Adjudicatory Board, which will take over as the nodal body for tariff setting and public-private partnership (PPP) dispute resolution for all major ports in India. The rules have been enacted under Section 54 of the Major Port Authorities Act, 2021.

As per the official notification released by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, the new board will assume the duties and authority formerly held by the Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP). TAMP served as a centralized agency that oversaw all vessel and cargo-related tariffs, in addition to rates for leasing properties with respect to Major Port Trusts and the private operators located there.

Major Ports Adjudicatory Board

According to the newly announced rules, the Major Ports Adjudicatory Board shall exercise the powers and perform the functions as provided in Section 58 of the Major Port Authorities Act and shall receive, review, and adjudicate upon six categories as specified in the Act.

Additionally, the Board will have the same powers vested with a civil court. It will be empowered to adjudicate cases of stressed PPP projects referred to it by the central government or major port authorities. This move is expected to further streamline processes related to shipping infrastructure in India. 

In terms of the composition, the Board shall consist of a Presiding Officer and two members. The Presiding Officer shall be a retired Judge of the Supreme Court of India or a retired Chief Justice of a High Court, and the other two members shall either be a retired Chief Secretary of a State Government or equivalent, or a retired Secretary of the Government of India or their equivalent.

Where are India’s major ports located?

The Major Port Authorities Act, 2021, provides for the regulation, operation, and planning of major ports in India. It places the administration, control, and management of such ports with the Boards of Major Port Authorities. The Act empowers these ports to perform with greater efficiency on account of increased autonomy in decision-making and by modernizing their institutional framework.

As per the Act, the following 12 ports are considered major ports in India.

Port

Features

Zone

State

Chennai

It is an artificial port, and the second busiest in India

Eastern coast

Tamil Nadu

Kochi

Located in the Vembanad lake, the port deals with exports of spices and salts

Western coast

Kerala

Kamarajar (earlier Ennore)

India’s first corporatized port

Eastern coast

Tamil Nadu

Kolkata (including Haldia)

India’s only major riverine port, situated on Hugli river

Eastern coast

West Bengal

Deendayal

It is the largest port in India by volume of cargo handled and acknowledged as a free trade zone

Western coast

Gujarat

Mangalore

Deals with iron ore exports

Western coast

Karnataka

Mormugao

Situated on the estuary of the river Zuari

Western coast

Goa

Mumbai port

Largest natural port and harbor In India

Western coast

Maharashtra

Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT)

Largest artificial port and the largest container port in India

Western coast

Maharashtra

Paradip

Natural harbor, dealing with the export of iron and aluminum

Eastern coast

Odisha

VO Chidambarnar (Tuticorin)

A major port in south India, and deals with trade of fertilizers and petrochemical products

Eastern coast

Tamil Nadu

Visakhapatnam

India’s deepest port

Deals with export of iron ore to Japan, among others, and has ship building and repair facilities

Eastern coast

Andhra Pradesh

Map of India displaying ports in the Indian Shipping Industry

Capacity of major ports in India

The total capacity of India’s major ports and the amount of cargo handled prior to the commencement of the Act are given as follows:

Year

Capacity

(in million tons per annum)

Cargo volume

(in million tons)

FY 2018-19

1514.09

699.10

FY 2019-20

1534.91

704.93

FY 2020-21

1560.61

672.68

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