Port workers warn govt against financial emergency in Major ports if they persisted with the concessions to the EXIM trade offered in wake of lock down
Ports in the country owned by the Shipping Ministry are facing the prospect of
financial emergency if the centre did not withdraw the concessions announced to
the EXIM Trade in the wake of the lock down six months ago.
workers unions have urged the government to withdraw the advisories issued to
the 12 state-owned major ports directing them to grant exemption/remission in
charges due to force majeure triggered by the pandemic stating that it would
plunge them into “deeper financial crisis”.
Ministry has recently directed the dozen major ports to implement its April 21
advisory in “letter and spirit” and ensure that no penal charges are levied
from port users during the lockdown period, plus 30 days recovery time.
Ministry seems not interested in the
financial position of the major ports
above directives, it seems that the Shipping Ministry is so serious on
implementing its April 21 advisory for giving exemption/concession to port
users and enforcing the “force majeure” clause in “letter and spirit” that it
is not interested in the financial position of the major ports which are
struggling to fulfill their “liabilities on pension fund” and implementation of
wage settlement etc in its “letter and spirit”,” T Narendra Rao, General
Secretary, Water Transport Workers Federation of India wrote in a letter to
Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya.
concessions being offered to port users and multi-national private container
terminals operating under the public-private-partnership (PPP) model at major
ports are “not justified” as this would push the major ports into “deeper
financial crisis”, Rao said.
being the case, implementation of any concession to the port users and PPP
terminal operators would further dilute the revenue stream on the pretext of
COVID-19 and further endanger the financial viability of major ports,” he
Proposed concessions to port users should
directing the major port trusts using the authority of the Central Government
is unfair and unjust resulting in overburdening the ports to give relief to
MNC’s,” he added while demanding that the proposed concessions to port users
should be dropped.