Drawing from the experience of the aviation and highways sectors, the Shipping Ministry is looking at modernising state-run sea ports with private sector support as a first step.
The proposal is still at the boardroom level as the Ministry is yet to decide how it wants to go about it, or which ports it wants to initiate the process with. ¨We are considering a proposal to modernise sea ports and not corporatise them,¨ Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, said. The public debate on the issue of port ´corporatisation´ started when Finance Minister Arun Jaitley proposed in Budget 2016 that ports would be encouraged to corporatise, and become companies under the Companies Act in order to attract investments for development. However, following criticism from port labour unions, Jaitley tweaked the proposal in Budget 2017 and announced that the government had started measures to modernise ports to increase efficiency.