The government is reportedly close to finalising the modalities for two new Major Ports in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal. The Shipping Ministry will soon place the proposal before the Union Cabinet for its approval, official sources said.
Apprising that the ports would be set up as a special purpose vehicle, sources said the Ministry was currently in the process of finalising the locations in consultation with the respective states.
The two ports will help in generating a target capacity of 244 million tonnes (mt) at an estimated cost of Rs 14,500 crore.
As per the Maritime Agenda 2010-2020, the Shipping Ministry plans to enhance total port capacity to 3,300 mt from 1,200 mt at present, entailing an estimated investment of Rs 2.9 lakh crore.
Official data shows that the 13 Major Ports account for 63 per cent of the seaborne traffic at present, with the non-major ports handling the remaining 36 per cent.
In addition to its plans to award 25 projects at the Major Ports under public-private partnership (PPP) in 2012-13, the government also proposes to invest Rs 73,793.95 crore for developing various projects in the port sector during the 12th Five-Year Plan.
The government has met with limited success in awarding projects so far this fiscal, with PPP projects at Major Ports held up for want of multiple clearances at various levels, according to Exim News Service.