T. S. Balasubramanian
The financial year 2016-17 has ended. The end of a year is a good time to look back and take stock of the achievements/deficiencies and to look forward, to see what we still need to accomplish.
2.1 As a part of consultative process in regulating tariff, TAMP, has organized 44 hearings during the year 2016-17 jointly with the Ports, Port users, BOT Operators and prospective bidders for PPP Projects as well as for other tariff cases. Such joint hearings not only enabled the Ports / BOT operators to fine tune their tariff proposals but also acted as an effective platform for Users to put-forth their views / grievances.
2.2 The Board of TAMP has met 7 times in the year 2016-17. The Board decided 45 tariff cases of various Ports / BOT Operators, including estate related charges. As mentioned in my previous message, TAMP has surpassed the self set target of 42 tariff orders for the Financial year 2016-17. The proposals of 10 Major Port Trusts out of 11 Major Port Trusts for general revision of their Scale of Rates have been approved by TAMP. The Scale of Rates while taking care of the interest of ports also provides enough flexibility to ports to levy lower rates to meet the competition. The proposal of the Paradip Port Trust for general revision of its Scale of Rates is under finalization.
3. The government came out with new policy announcements in the year 2016. One of the new policies is the Stevedoring and Shore Handling Policy made effective from 31 July 2016. The government has also issued Guidelines in October 2016 to operationalize the Stevedoring and Shore Handling Policy for normative tariff at the Major Ports Trusts. TAMP held an interactive session on 5 November 2016 with all the Major Port Trusts on the Guidelines for better understanding of formulation of the proposals by all Port Trusts. TAMP has taken up the proposals filed by the Port Trusts on priority basis and communicated the upfront tariff on adhoc basis. TAMP is taking steps to finalize the tariff at the earliest.
4.1 The other policy measure announced by the government is Performance Norms based Berthing Policy for prescription of Incentive/Penalty for handling bulk cargo at the Major Port Trusts. The Berthing Policy is drafted to regulate performance of vessels at berth with an intention to reduce turn around time of ships & drive higher cargo throughput, adding to port’s revenue and unlocking value for trade; the Berthing Policy aims to improve utilization of port assets to increase Return on Investment on existing assets; the Policy would increase competitiveness of Major Port Trusts vis-à-vis private ports.
4.2 The Performance Norms based Incentive/Penalty including Anchorage Charge has been determined for the two Dock system of the Kolkata Port Trust and for the Cochin Port Trust.
5. The audit of the Accounts of the Authority for the year 2015-16 has been undertaken by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. As per the Audit Report released by the Comptroller and Auditor General there are no audit paras on the Accounts of the Authority for the year 2015-16. The Accounts of the Authority along with Audit Report for the year 2015-16 has been placed on the Table of Rajya Sabha on 14.12.2016 and Lok Sabha on 15.12.2016.
6. TAMP in association with the Forum of Indian Regulators (FOIR), a Society under the Society’s Registration Act, 1860 conceived with the main objective of supporting more effective regulation of various sectors in India and strengthen the regulatory institutions, hosted a Research Conference in Goa on 02nd and 03rd February 2017. The Conference was attended by over 70 delegates from the various Regulatory bodies. The Research Conference discussed on topics relating to the Reform measures and policy initiatives in Indian Port Sector, Tariff Regulation in Major Ports in India and the Regulatory Practices in Aviation Sector. The efforts put in by TAMP in hosting the event was well appreciated by the delegates.
7. As per the directives of the Ministry of Shipping about “Swachh Bharat” as a mass movement, ‘Swachhta Pakhwada’ was observed from 1st April 2016 to 15th April, 2016 and from 15 March 2017 to 31 March 2017 by conducting various activities related to cleanliness. All the senior level officials and staff whole heartedly participated in the drive. To continue with the mission, Special Cleanliness Drive was also carried out on 2nd October, 2016 on the eve of Birthday of Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. Further, as per the directives issued by the Ministry of Shipping and Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation (DWS), ‘Swachhta Pakhwada’ is being observed every month.
8. TAMP is continuously recognized for its Quality Management System under ISO 9001:2008 and for Information Security Management System under ISO 27001:2013.
9. We have to convene more meetings of the Authority during the year 2017-18 to dispose of more tariff cases. The final upfront tariff for Stevedoring and Shore handling operations at the Major Port Trusts have to be determined early. The proposals for Performance Norms based incentive/Penalty including Anchorage charges are expected from the remaining Major Port Trusts.
10. The accomplishments made so far would not have been possible without the active co-operation of all the stakeholders, more importantly, our small, but dedicated team of staff members. I am confident that the tasks still we need to accomplish will be accomplished with the active cooperation of our staff.
11. We welcome your comments and suggestions on our functioning which will provide valuable feedback to us to effect necessary improvements within the statutory mandate and guiding framework given to us.
Date: 07th April 2017 (T.S. Balasubramanian)
Place: Mumbai Member (Finance)