India: ShippingMin suggests new guidelines to prevent monopoly at ports.
To prevent monopoly of a single player in public private partnership (PPP) projects at major ports, the shipping ministry has drafted a new set of guidelines capping the number of projects a player can undertake in a port, as well as placing a restriction on the number of terminals a player can operate for a particular cargo kind. In addition, the new guidelines seek to restrict players from operating in more than one port in a radius of 100 km surrounding Central government run major ports.
The guidelines, which have been circulated for comments from all stake holders propose that an existing private operator of the port should not be allowed to be a concessionaire for more than two projects under the PPP mode in the same port. This has been done to prevent monopoly of a single player in one port. The current model concession agreement (MCA), however, imposes no such restriction.
The ministry has also said that a single private player will not be allowed to operate adjacent terminals or berths dealing with the same cargo. In other words, if a player operates an iron ore berth in one port, then that player will not be allowed to bid for the development of an adjacent iron ore berth in the same port. However, the player would be allowed to bid for another kind of cargo at the adjacent terminal or berth.
According to the proposed guidelines, port players will also be prohibited from operating more than two BOT projects such as container terminals, berths, single point moorings (SPMs) or special economic zones SEZs at any port within a radius of 100 km of a major port"s limits. This is being done after the government found that players were squatting on berths and terminals after winning PPP contracts at major ports and running operations in full swing at a nearby minor port.
?We have found such instances at Vizag and Kandla where players from adjoining minor ports have stalled business at the major port diverting traffic to their berths at the nearby minor ports,? a government official said.