Private enterprise & renaissance of ports sector

The period 1999-2023 has been transformative for the Indian Ports Sector. Much of it has to do with the induction of private capital

Vinayak Chatterjee

As late as the mid-1990s, India’s ports were seen as having an inadequate capacity to cater to a rapidly burgeoning economy, as well as being considered frustrating choke points in the logistics chain. The 1996-97 Union Budget document stated, “A major problem with ports is the mismatch between existing capacity and the demand for traffic.”
As against the total capacity of 217.3 million tonnes on March 31, 1997, major ports (in those days, practically all owned by the government) handled 227.3 million tonnes, resulting in pre-berthing delays and unacceptable ship turn-around times. Moreover, shipping lines constantly complained about lethargic and inefficient operations, whilst importers and exporters chafed at unduly long clearing times.
But, voila, turn to 2021, and what do we see?
Disclaimer: These are personal views of the writer. They do not necessarily reflect the opinion of or the Business Standard newspaper

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First Published: Apr 18 2023 | 10:46 PM IST

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