JNPT Current Affairs - 2019
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India’s premier container port, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) in Navi Mumbai has signed 400 Million US Dollar agreement with State Bank of India (SBI) and Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) for External Commercial Borrowing (ECB).
The agreement was signed by JNPT officials in the presence of the Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
- With this ECB Agreement, JNPT becomes the first major port in the country to take loans in dollars to improve the infrastructure.
- The ECB of 400 Million dollars will be primarily utilised for expansion of JNPT’s existing road network connecting to its port project. It will help JNPT to double its existing capacity.
- JNPT was able to take loans in dollars as it has US dollar denominated foreign currency earnings which can be leveraged for a low cost foreign currency borrowing.
Why Ports are opting for low cost foreign currency borrowing?
- Port projects, including connectivity infrastructure projects are critical to developing cargo handling capacity of the country.
- With Central Government’s thrust on port led development under the Sagarmala programme, improving viability of port projects is critical.
- One of the primary factors that impacts viability of port projects is the interest rate on borrowings to fund projects.
- While Ports have surplus funds, they also need to borrow to achieve a quantum jump in the investment.
- Thus, ECBs is an innovative means of raising low-cost particularly when the port had revenues in foreign exchange, which provided a natural hedge to the ports.
- This would substantially help to eliminate the requirement of hedging the forex risk and would reduce the cost of borrowing.
- The step is also considered as another milestone in infusing dynamism into the functioning of the ports, both in their operations and financing.
For more information: External Commercial Borrowings
The Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) at Nhava Sheva in Raigad District of Maharashtra has become the first port in India to implement logistics data bank tagging system of containers.
The first of its kind system has been launched as part of ‘Ease of Doing Business’ initiatives implemented at JNPT Port. It focuses on document, time and cost reduction for the benefit of trade.
- Under this system, a RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Tag) tag will be attached to each container. It will help to track containers through RIFD readers installed at different locations.
- The RFID would provide the visibility and transparency of the exporters/importers (EXIM) container movement.
- It will cover the entire movement of containers through rail or road to the ICDs (Inland Container Depot) and CFSs (Container Freight Station).
- The system will integrate the information available with various agencies across the supply chain in order to provide detailed real time information within a single window.
- The first of its kind facility will help exporters/importers track their goods in transit through logistics data bank service.
- It will also help in reducing the overall lead time of the container movement across the western corridor and also lower the transaction costs incurred by shippers and consignees.
About Radio-frequency identification (RFID)
- The RFID uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects. It is one used for Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC).
- The RFID tags contain electronically stored information. Unlike a barcode, the tag need not be within the line of sight (LoS) of the reader, so it can be easily embedded in the tracked object.