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JNPT Board clears Privatisation of JNPCT

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NAVI MUMBAI: The Board of Trustees of Centre-owned Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) recently cleared a proposal to privatise the container terminal run by the port authority itself at the port located near Mumbai.

The proposal was cleared by the board of India’s biggest state-run container gateway with six trustees voting in favour and the two labour representatives voting against it.

Confirming the Board approval, JNPT Deputy Chairman Mr. Unmesh Wagh was quoted in media as saying that the proposal will be submitted to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways for ratification because the privatisation of the terminal will be undertaken through the public- private partnership (PPP) route at an estimated cost of over 800 crore.
JN Port Container Terminal (JNPCT), one of the five container terminals operating at JNPT, handled 720,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in FY20 against 1.04 million TEUs in FY19. The terminal has a capacity to handle 1.35 million TEUs a year.

JNPCT is the only such facility operated by a government-owned port authority across any of the 12 state-owned Major Ports in India. In three years, JNPCT’s volumes have tumbled by more than half from 1.53 million TEUs in FY17 to
1.48 million TEUs in FY18, 1.04 million TEUs in FY19 and 720,000 TEUs in Fy20.

“Privatisation of JNPCT is long overdue,” says Ramesh Singhal, Director at i-maritime Consultancy Pvt Ltd. “It will lead to better management, efficiency and upgradation of the terminal,” he said.

DP World runs two separate terminals at JNPT, while PSA International and APM Terminals operate one each. The privatisation tender is likely to see competition between DP World, APM Terminals and Adani Ports to win the project.

Workers, who have been opposing the port authority’s move to privatise JNPCT, said they will take legal opinion on their next course of action.

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