Ports Current Affairs - 2019
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Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved strategic disinvestment of 100% Government of India’s shares in Dredging Corporation of India Limited (DCIL) to consortium of four ports. Presently, Central Government holds 73.44% shares in DCIL. The consortium of four ports consists of Vishakhapatnam Port Trust (Andhra Pradesh), Paradeep Port Trust (Odisha), Jawahar Lal Nehru Port Trust (Maharashtra) and Kandla Port Trust (Gujarat). The government’s divestment target for fiscal 2018-19 was Rs 80,000 crore and so far it has garnered over Rs 15,000 crore from PSU stake sales.
Strategic sale of DCIL will further facilitate linkage of dredging activities with ports, keeping in view the role of DCIL in expansion of dredging activity in the country as well as potential scope for diversification of ports into third party dredging. The co-sharing of facilities between company as well as ports shall lead to savings for ports. This will also further provide opportunities for larger investment in DCIL as integration with ports shall help ineffective vertical linkage in value chain.
Dredging Corporation of India Limited (DCIL)
It is miniratna public sector unit (PSU) engaged in the business of dredging. It does dredging for Indian seaports exclusively. It is involved in capital dredging, beach nourishment, and land reclamation. It was established in March 1976 and is headquartered in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. It reports to the Ministry of Shipping. Almost all maintenance dredging in Indian seaports is carried out by DCI. It also occasionally dredges at foreign seaports in countries such as Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Dubai.
The Union Ministry of Shipping is planning to expand Logistics Data Bank (LDB) project to the country’s southern region. So far, it had covered only the western logistics corridor.
The LDB project was launched at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT), Mumbai in July 2016, making it first port in India to provide this service. Later its operations were expanded to the container terminals at Adani Port Special Economic Zone (APSEZ), Mundra and Adani Hazira Port — both in Gujarat.
About Logistics Data Bank (LDB) project
The LDB project was unveiled in July 2016 to make India’s logistics sector more efficient through the use of Information Technology. Under this project, every container in the port facility is attached to a Radio Frequency Identification Tag (RFID) tag and then tracked through RFID readers.
It is being implemented through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) called Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation Logistics Data Services Ltd. (DLDSL). DLDSL is jointly (50:50) owned by the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) Trust and Japanese IT services major NEC Corporation.
The LDB project covers the entire movement of containers through rail or road till the Inland Container Depot and Container Freight Station. Its service integrates information available with the agencies across the supply chain to provide detailed, real-time information within a single window.
Significance of project
It has helped to cut the overall lead time of container movement as well as reduced transaction costs that consignees and shippers incur. It also has aided importers and exporters in tracking their goods in transit. It is billed as a major ‘ease of doing business’ initiative aimed at boosting India’s foreign trade and ensuring greater transparency.