India is encouraging corporatization of its twelve state-backed ports as it strives for revitalization of its shipping industry.
The initiative was announced as the Union Budget for 2015-2016 was presented.
“Ports need to attract investment as well as leverage the huge land resource lying unused with them and to enable us to do so ports in public sector will be encouraged to corporatize and become companies under the Company’s Act,” the Economic Times cited Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley as saying.
The decision to move toward corporatization, which by some, is seen as a step toward greater autonomy, was not welcomed by the port workers who announced an indefinite strike from March 9, the newspaper informed.
According to IIM-A professor G. Raghuram, quoted by the Times of India, ” corporatization is a step in the right direction as it will allow greater autonomy in decision making, help the ports raise funds, bring in fiscal responsibility and unlock value of port resources.”
The budget has also introduced tax benefits for Indian seafarers sailing on board Indian and foreign-flagged vessels, under which the disparity in calculation of income tax has been removed.
World Maritime News Staff