Chennai, June 22 : Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K.Stalin on Tuesday urged his counterparts in eight coastal states and the Union Territory of Puducherry to object to the Draft Indian Ports Bill 2021 proposed by the central government.
In a letter to the Chief Ministers of Gujarat, Goa, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and Puducherry on Monday, Stalin also proposed joint action to check moves to dilute the powers of the states.
According to Stalin, the Draft Indian Ports Bill 2021 was framed by the Union Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways to modify the current management model of minor ports.
A meeting of the Maritime State Development Council (MSDC) has been called with the State Ministers on June 24, 2021 to discuss this bill.
Stalin said the in the existing Indian Ports Act, 1908, the powers to plan, develop, regulate and control the minor ports vest with the state governments.
“However, the new draft Indian Ports Bill 2021 proposes to change this and transfer many of these powers to MSDC, which has so far been only an advisory body.Further to this, many powers currently exercised by state governments would be taken over by the Union government,” Stalin said.
According to him, the Central government’s move 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.
“We have already taken up the issue with the Union Ministry for Ports and Shipping, strongly opposing such steps to reduce the autonomous role of states in the regulation and management of minor ports,” Stalin said.
“I also request that all our state governments must communicate these comments on similar lines, opposing the above bill during the MSDC meeting on 24th June 2021,” he added.