Union Minister of State for Shipping (Independent Charge), Mansukh Mandaviya launched the Society for Affordable Redressal of Disputes-Ports or ‘SAROD-Ports’ through a virtual ceremony on Thursday in New Delhi.
Speaking at the launch, Mandaviya termed SAROD-Ports as a game changer and added that it will become the pivotal mechanism of ummeed (hope), vishwas (trust) and nyaya (justice) in the country’s ports sector. Mandaviya also added that enforcement of concession agreements in the letter and spirit was of utmost priority for the government. SAROD-Ports will resolve the disputes in a fair and just manner while saving huge amount of legal expenditure and time.
Dr. Sanjiv Ranjan, Secretary, Ministry of Shipping said that all major ports would be shifting to the landlord model in the days to come. Many concessioners will be working with the major ports. SAROD-Ports would help inspire confidence among the private players and will ensure right kind of environment. It would promote ease of doing business in the maritime sector because of the fast, timely, cost effective and robust dispute resolution mechanism on offer.
SAROD-Ports is established under Societies Registration Act, 1860 with the objective of affordable and timely resolution of disputes in a fair manner and enrichment of dispute resolution mechanism with the panel of technical experts as arbitrators. SAROD-Ports consists of members from the Indian Ports Association (IPA) and Indian Private Ports and Terminals Association (IPTTA).
SAROD-Ports will advise and assist in settlement of disputes through arbitrations in the maritime sector, including ports and shipping sector in major port trusts, non-major ports, including private ports, jetties, terminals and harbours. It will also cover disputes between granting authority and licensee, concessionaire and contractor and also disputes between licensee, concessionaire and their contractors arising out of and during the course of execution of various contracts.
SAROD-Ports is similar to provision available in highway sector in the form of SAROD-Roads constituted by the National Highways Authority of India.
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had approved amendments in the Model Concession Agreement (MCA), in January 2018.The amendments in the MCA, envisaged constitution SAROD-PORTS as a dispute resolution mechanism for public-private partnership (PPP) Projects in major ports.