New Delhi takes the plunge on major ports’ corporatisation

New Delhi takes the plunge on major ports’ corporatisation

New Delhi: More than a decade after a government committee recommended the corporatisation of the 12 major state-owned ports, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced in Saturday’s 2015-16 Budget, a plan to convert the dozen ports into companies.

At the moment, only Kamarajar port at Ennore runs as a corporation managed by a board of directors, while the other eleven are run by a board of trustees. The Government now wants the others too, incorporated under the Major Ports Act, to come under the Companies Act.

As professional board-run entities, port managements are expected to enjoy more operational freedom and decision-making power, which are crucial for the efficient running of ports. It has been observed that privately run ports such as Mundra, Pipavav and Krishnapatnam have been growing at a much faster rate than their older public sector counterparts.

“Ports in the public sector need to both attract investment as well as leverage the huge land resources lying unused with them,” the Finance Minister said in his Budget speech. “To enable us to do so, ports in the public sector will be encouraged to corporatise and become companies under the Companies Act.”

Shirish Nadkarni

Shirish Nadkarni is a management consultant and freelance international journalist, who has been writing on all spheres of Indian business for the past three decades for a number of reputed overseas publications. An avid sportsman, Nadkarni has represented India in international veterans' badminton since 1997, and was the 55+ age group doubles world champion in 2005.

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