New Delhi: With a view to homogenize and streamline the development of the maritime sector, along with promoting ease of doing business by eliminating unnecessary delays and disagreements, the government on Thursday issued the draft Indian Ports Bill, 2022 (IP Bill 2022) to consolidate and amend the laws relating to ports.
The primary objectives of the proposed bill include promoting integrated planning between states inter-se and Centre-States through a purely consultative and recommendatory framework; ensuring prevention of pollution measures for all ports in India while incorporating India’s obligations under international treaties; to address lacunae in the dispute resolution framework required for burgeoning ports sector and to usher-in transparency and cooperation in development and other aspects through use of data.
The Indian Ports Act, 1908 (“Act”) is more than 110 years old. It has become imperative that the Act is revamped to reflect the present-day frameworks, incorporate India’s international obligations, address emerging environmental concerns, and aid the consultative development of the ports sector in the national interest, said a statement issued by the Ministry of Ports.
Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways has stated that this bill will help in instilling confidence among more players thereby increasing their participation and promoting healthy competition in the maritime sector.
The draft Bill will incorporate State Maritime Boards in the national framework. Additionally, Maritime State Development Council will ensure cooperative federalism where Centre and state / UT will work together towards preparing progressive road map for the country.
The redundant provisions of the Act have been deleted or replaced with contemporaneous provisions. Further, existing penalties in the Act which are outdated have been updated with respect to amounts and offences relevant to present day scenarios.
The Ministry has sought feedback and suggestions on the draft IP Bill 2022 from all the stakeholders.