To improve the efficiency of ports in the country, the government will set up a framework and look at corporatisation of at least one major port followed by subsequent listing on stock exchanges, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Saturday.
Presenting the Union Budget for 2020-21, Sitharaman said the ports performance have improved and government is taking steps to further enhance their efficiency.
"Sea ports have improved... Government will come out with a framework for ports and will look into corporatising at least one major port and subsequently its listing on stock exchanges," Sitharaman said.
The government has been striving to improve the operational efficiencies of ports through mechanisation, digitisation and process simplification.
Major ports in the country have an installed capacity of 1,514.09 million tonne per annum as in March, 2019 and handled traffic of 699.09 MT during 2018-19.
As per the Economic Survey, "the average turnaround time in 2018-19 improved to 59.51 hrs as against 64.43 hrs in 2017-18. The average output per ship berth day has increased from 15,333 tonnes in 2017-18 to 16,541 tonnes in 2018-19."
India has 12 major ports -- Deendayal (erstwhile Kandla), Mumbai, JNPT, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Kamarajar (earlier Ennore), V O Chidambaranar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia).
These ports had recorded a marginal 0.98 per cent growth in cargo volumes at 524.02 million tonnes (MT) during the April-December 2019 period.