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NMPT move to introduce anchorage charge will discourage trade: KCCI

Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Mangaluru, has said that the New Mangalore Port Trust’s (NMPT) proposal to TAMP (Tariff Authority for Major Ports) on introducing anchorage charge and increasing container related charges at the port will discourage the trade from doing business with the port.

KCCI, which has submitted its recommendations to TAMP on the revised proposal of NMPT for the revision of scale of rates (SoR) at the port, said the introduction of anchorage charges would be disadvantageous to the port.

KCCI plea
In a representation to TAMP, PB Abdul Hameed, President of KCCI, said anchorage charges are levied from the vessels using the inner anchorage in order to carry out designated activities without interruption. However, the vessels are allowed to use the outer anchorage without any additional charge as the port is duty-bound to provide safe anchorage to the vessels calling at the port.

In the case of NMPT, anchorage was designed and developed during the commissioning of the port, and the expense incurred on this account was computed in the vessel-related charges being collected from the ships since the inception of the port.

NMPT proposals
According to the NMPT’s proposal to TAMP, there should be no anchorage charge up to 48 hours. However, anchorage charge of 10 per cent of the applicable berth hire charges should be levied for the period above 48 hours to 96 hours.

The charge will be 30 per cent of the applicable berth hire charges for the period above 96 hours to 144 hours, and 50 per cent of the applicable berth hire charges for above 144 hours.

The KCCI representation said that NMPT handled 1,295 vessels in 2018-19, of which not a single vessel arrived or anchored to carry out repairs. Only once, in June 2018-19, NMPT had 12 vessels waiting at anchorage. The presence of these vessels had not impacted the safety of navigation within the port limits.

“For a major port, with the port limit exceeding up to 12 nautical miles west and 5 nautical miles north, providing safe anchorage for 30 vessels at any given time does not pose threat to safe navigation,” he said in the representation.

Stating that KCCI foresees two possibilities in the case of essential commodities such as LPG, Hameed said the public sector undertakings (PSUs) would either pass on the cost to the general public or shift the entire LPG import to trade-friendly neighbouring ports. NMPT could lose huge sums of wharfage and vessel-related revenue if the PSUs decide to shift the cargo to the neighbouring ports, he said.

On the proposal to increase container related charges, the KCCI President said that though there have been several attempts by NMPT to develop a container terminal at the port, the efforts did not elicit interest from the key players even after offering additional inducements, primarily due to low container traffic.

Prashant CG, Honorary Secretary of KCCI, told BusinessLine that the hike in container-related charges, as mentioned in the proposal, will be around 54 per cent. The proposal to increase container handling charges will certainly discourage the trade from using NMPT for their export-import requirement.
Source: The Hindu Business Line

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