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Fight Centre's bid to usurp control over minor ports, Stalin urges CMs of coastal states

The CM proposed that all coastal states and Union territories should express their objection to this new draft Indian Ports Bill 2021 and take joint action to prevent any move to dilute their powers

Published: 22nd June 2021 02:13 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd June 2021 02:13 PM   |  A+A-

DMK chief MK Stalin

Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin (Photo| Ashwin Prasath, EPS)

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: Taking strong exception to the Union government’s bid to dilute the state government’s control over minor ports through the Draft Indian Ports Bill 2021, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has urged the Chief Ministers of nine coastal states and Puducherry Union territory to oppose this bill unitedly during the meeting of the Maritime State Development Council (MSDC) scheduled for June 24.

In this regard, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister on Monday wrote letters to his counterparts in Puducherry and the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal.

Recalling the recent actions initiated by the Centre on management of minor ports, hitherto managed and regulated by state governments, Stalin pointed out that the Draft Indian Ports Bill 2021 aims to modify the current management model of minor ports.

“As per the existing Indian Ports Act, 1908, the powers to plan, develop, regulate and control the minor ports vests with the state governments concerned. However, the new draft bill proposes to change this and transfer many of these powers to MSDC, which has so far been only an advisory body. Further to this, many powers currently exercised by state governments would be taken over by the Union government,” Stalin underscored.

Recalling that the present system has led to good development of minor ports, under the states, Stalin said the move of the Union government to bring a new bill would have long term adverse implications on the management of minor ports as the state governments would not have a major role anymore, if the bill is passed.

“We have already taken up the issue with the Union Ministry for Ports and Shipping, strongly opposing such steps to reduce the autonomous role of states in the regulation and management of minor ports," he said.
 
The Chief Minister proposed that all coastal states and Union territories should express their objection to this new draft Indian Ports Bill 2021 and take joint action to prevent any move to dilute the powers already vested with the states.



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