There seems to be some difference of opinion between the Planning Commission and the union shipping ministry regarding the draft new tariff guidelines for major ports.
At a recent meeting with the shipping ministry, the Planning Commission said the reference tariff notified by Tamp will apply only for the first year of the concession period.
This implied that there will never be any cap on tariffs neither will Tamp apply its mind in regulating tariffs after the first year, according to the Planning Commission.
Hence, this may not be consistent with the law, it said.
Tamp was set up in 1997 through an amendment of the Major Port Trusts Act 1963. The Planning Commission has also asked the shipping ministry to clarify how the actual tariff (market rate) will be determined.
Moreover, the commission was of the view that indexing the reference tariff to 60 percent of WPI would mean that the Â“intention of the government is to reduce real tariff during successive yearsÂ”.
Instead of making amendments (if needed) in the earlier draft of the commission, it is now proposed to consider a completely new draft.
Meanwhile, industry observers feel that it would be worth comparing what the commission had prescribed in its own draft on refining or improving the tariff setting guidelines last year.