Stalin urges 9 CMs to oppose new draft Indian Ports Bill 2021
Stalin added that as per the existing Indian Ports Act, 1908, the powers to plan, develop, regulate and control the minor ports vests with the concerned state governments.
Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin on Tuesday wrote to his counterparts in nine coastal states asking them to object to the draft Indian Ports Bill. He wrote to the chief ministers of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and Puducherry saying that the bill dilutes the power of states.
“You will agree that the present system has led to the good development of minor ports, under the states,” Stalin said in his letter. “This move of the Central government to bring a new bill will have long term adverse implications on the management of minor ports since the state governments will not have any major role anymore if the bill is passed,” he stated in his letter.
The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways has framed a new draft to modify the current management model of minor ports and a meeting of the Maritime State Development Council (MSDC) has been called with the state ministers on June 24 to discuss this bill.
Stalin added that as per the existing Indian Ports Act, 1908, the powers to plan, develop, regulate and control the minor ports vests with the concerned state governments. However, the new draft bill proposes to change this and transfer many of these powers to the MSDC, which has so far been only an advisory body, he said. Stalin said that they have already taken this up with the Union ministry and they would ‘strongly oppose such steps to reduce the autonomous role of states in the regulation and management of minor ports.’
“I propose that all the coastal states and Union territories should express their objection to this new draft Indian Ports Bill 2021 and take joint action to prevent any move to dilute the powers already vested with the states,” he said, requesting all states to communicate along similar similar lines during the MSDC meeting on June 24th.
On June 8, Stalin wrote to chief ministers in 12 states - Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Jharkhand, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telangana and West Bengal- urging them to write to the Union finance minister and the Reserve Bank of India on the need for a moratorium on loan repayment for MSMEs and small businesses. He urged them to come together once again as the states’ collective effort in asking for vaccines to be procured centrally and distributed free of cost to states. The move led the Union government to revise its position.