Indian Ports Bill 2022

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    • Recently, the government has prepared the draft Indian Ports Bill 2022 to consolidate and amend the laws relating to ports.
      • The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways has issued the Bill for Stakeholder Consultation.

    Major Provisions of the Bill 

    • Repealing Indian Ports Act, 1908
      • The draft bill seeks to repeal and replace the existing Indian Ports Act, 1908.
        • The Indian Ports Act, 1908 is more than 110 years old.
    • State Maritime Boards 
      • It will empower and establish State Maritime Boards for effective administration and incorporate them in the national framework. 
    • Compliance with maritime treaties 
      • The bill will look for the prevention and containment of pollution at ports and to ensure compliance with the country’s obligation under the maritime treaties and international instruments to which India is a party. 
    • Non-major ports
      • The bill will make a provision for control and management of non-major ports in India. 
    • Adjudicatory mechanisms for redressal 
      • It will provide for adjudicatory mechanisms for redressal of port related disputes and to establish a national council for fostering structured growth and development of the port sector. 
    • Penalties
      • Existing penalties in the Act which are outdated have been updated with respect to amounts and offences relevant to present day scenarios.

    Primary objectives of the proposed bill

    • Promote integrated planning between States inter-se and Centre-States through a purely consultative and recommendatory framework;
    • Ensure prevention of pollution measures for all ports in India while incorporating India’s obligations under international treaties;
    • Address lacunae in the dispute resolution framework required for burgeoning ports sector;
    • Usher-in transparency and cooperation in development and other aspects through use of data. 

    Significance/ Importance of the Bill

    • Streamline the development 
      • The proposed bill will homogenize and streamline the development of the maritime sector, along with, promoting ease of doing business by eliminating unnecessary delays, disagreements and defining responsibilities. 
    • Cooperative federalism 
      • Maritime State Development Council will ensure cooperative federalism where Centre and State/UT Governments will work together towards preparing progressive road map for the country. 
    • Building Confidence 
      • Bill will help in instilling confidence among more players thereby increasing their participation and promoting healthy competition in the maritime sector. 
    • Other benefits
      • It will lead to increased economic activity, wider markets, and a significant increase in associated employment possibilities, resulting in achieving the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat.

    Facts/ Data

    • India has a 7,500 kilometre long coastline.
    • 14,500 kilometres of potentially navigable waterways and strategic location on key international maritime trade routes. 
    • About 95 per cent of India’s trade by volume and 65 per cent by value are done through maritime transport facilitated by ports.

    Way Forward

    • Sagarmala project 
      • Under the aegis of the Sagarmala project of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, several initiatives on port-led development have been identified and launched. 
    • Scientific and consultative planning 
      • The ongoing developments and committed investments (public and private) in ports needs to be aided by scientific and consultative planning, with a keen focus on ever increasing safety, security and environmental issues.

    Source: PIB