Cargo handling in Indian ports rises by 5.4 percent: ICRA

Kolkata, July 13 (IANS) Credit rating and investment information company ICRA on Monday said during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015, Indian ports have registered a modest increase in handling cargo by 5.4 percent at 1,043 million tonnes (MT).

During 2014-15, 976 MT of cargo was handled by the ports. “The growth was pegged down by a relatively weaker cargo performance at the major ports which registered a modest growth of 4.7 percent in cargo volumes to 581 MT in fiscal year 2014-15,” the rating agency said in a statement.

It further said non-major ports have likely pushed up the overall growth rate by recording a 10 percent growth to 462 MT during 2014-15.

“The growth at major ports was pegged down due to continuing mining restrictions in major states like Karnataka, Goa and Odisha and other policy measures such as imposition of export duty. Apart from petroleum oil and lubricants segment, all other cargo categories including containers, fertilizers, coal and others showed growth in volumes at major ports,” said the agency’s senior vice-president and co-head of corporate ratings, K. Ravichandran.

He also said that various initiatives and schemes of the central government rolled out in the last few months are expected to have a favorable impact on the growth and investment in the port sector.

“The approach and planning of the centre is holistic and if implemented, the cumulative impact of these initiatives should boost the overall development of the sector (ports). The initiatives are not only aimed at addressing the issues being faced in a certain facet of port development, but together, they cover a wide spectrum of issues involving port infrastructure, connectivity, port services, tariff policy, project financing and clearances and approvals,” he said.

Regarding the migration of old terminal operators at major ports to deregulated tariff regime, the situation continues to be in limbo as old terminal operators have rejected the shipping ministry’s rebid offer, the company noted.

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