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India: Shipping minister wants another go at tax-free bonds

Saturday, 18 February 2012 | 00:00
The Union shipping ministry plans to seek a year’s extension to raise Rs 5,000 crore worth tax-free bonds after failing to raise them during this fiscal even as a ports authority proposed to issue these bonds is still at a drawing-board stage.
The bonds were announced in the Union Budget for fiscal 2012.
“We would seek an extension of these bonds for the next financial year in the upcoming Budget,” Rakesh Srivastava, joint secretary- ports, Ministry of Shipping, said.
The ministry has been struggling to empower a suitable authority to issue these bonds since their announcement. A proposal by Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust to raise funds through this route was shot down and pending for a second review.
The shipping ministry was considering other bodies to raise these funds, including the corporatised Ennore Port, and a proposed ports development authority—India Ports Global—whose details remain to be finalised.
“We would be soon discussing this in a meeting with the finance ministry,” said Srivastava.
The shipping ministry’s performance in the current fiscal has been disappointing both on the new awards and execution fronts. Out of the 23 projects planned to be awarded in the current financial year, only two have been awarded.
Source: DNA
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