Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Tuesday wrote to nine Chief Ministers of coastal States including Maharashtra's Uddhav Thackeray urging them to oppose the draft Indian Ports Bill 2021. He called upon them to take joint action to prevent any move to dilute the powers vested within the States.
A copy of Stalin's letter to Chief Ministers of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and Puducherry, was circulated with the media. He requested them to oppose the bill during the Maritime State Development Council (MSDC) meeting scheduled on June 24.
The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways has framed the draft bill to modify the management model of minor ports.
“As per the existing Indian Ports Act 1908, the powers to plan, develop, regulate and control the minor ports vests with the state governments concerned. 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”, he said in the letter.
The Tamil Nadu CM said the present system under the state governments has led to good development of minor ports and the move of the Central government to bring in a new bill will have long-term adverse implications on the management of minor ports. State governments will not have any major role in management of minor ports if the Bill is passed, the CM mentioned.