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Powers of States over minor ports not curtailed

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VIJAYWADA : Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Shri Sarbananda Sonowal denied any attempt to curtail powers of the States over development of non-major ports.

Responding to a question by YSRCP member V Vijayasai Reddy, he told the Rajya Sabha that many provisions contained in the Indian Ports Act, 1908 are now redundant and do not reflect the advancements and the current requirements in the maritime and ports sector.

Therefore, it has become imperative to repeal the Indian Ports Act, 1908 and to provide for contemporaneous, modern and dynamic legislation, namely, the Indian Ports Bill 2022 to enable sustainable growth and development of all ports in India in line with the country’s international obligations. The Bill is aimed at synergy between coastal States and the Union through collaborative effort through integrated approach for development of ports, he said.

Sonowal pointed out that in accordance with the principles of federalism. The Union Government has conducted multiple consultations with coastal States on the Bill. A consultation was also held on the last circulated draft of the Bill in June 2021, wherein coastal States and UTs participated.

He said the inputs provided by coastal States/UTs and various other stakeholders, through various rounds of consultation, have been suitably incorporated in the draft of the Bill adding the new legislation gives the States enough flexibility to develop their own port sectors in the manner they consider appropriate.

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