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PRESIDENT'S WELCOME ADDRESS
THIRTY FOURTH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (2011–2012)


Distinguished Seniors, Past Presidents, Colleagues, Ladies & Gentlemen,

My hearty welcome to everyone to the 34th AGM of our Association. MANSA has completed 34 years of glorious service to the shipping trade in general and for our Members in particular. I am most privileged to appear before you in the 2nd year of my service as 13th President of this esteemed Organization.

At the outset, you are aware that the Association functions on a system of shared responsibilities and duties. I can reiterate that my task was made relatively easier by my senior colleagues, Past Presidents and the Executive Committee Members. The joint commitment of these willing members made it possible to overcome all hurdles with relative ease. The interactions in the ECM subsequent to meetings with Trade Bodies, Government/Port Authorities etc. helped solving of numerous detrimental / intricate issues easily. The efforts of MANSA's Sub-Committees and their prompt support coupled with the efficiency of the Secretariat are commendable in keeping you updated with Circulars and Notices on the day to day developments. It helped us in tackling many problems from time to time. MANSA's Website being maintained by MANSA itself regularly can be of your reference point for topic-wise list of important Circulars and Notices.

I hereby present you with the report of MANSA for the Year 2011-2012. I have now greater insight and understanding of MANSA and gained vast knowledge on the complex issues relating to the shipping industry and how we can jointly

face them subject to continuous assistance from all quarters, specially, from Members, to support the cause of shipping and creation of Ports infrastructure. United we stand to win whereas divided we are bound to fall like a pack of cards. Here I must add that during my tenure I was handicapped due to lack of adequate or no response from most of the Members on major issues while frivolous and trivial issues were eagerly pursued and sought after. MANSA needs support from each and every Member to come up with issues which are common in nature affecting shipping so that these can be taken up and get readdressed. Even the individual issues while tackling with Authorities if simultaneously copied to MANSA, MANSA can involve itself for resolving them before such bad practices would prevail permanently and get institutionalized by the Authorities concerned. The economic scenario world over seems to be still limping back to its pre-recession days. Even though the traffic, i.e. EXIM has suffered temporary setback, there was somewhat seemingly an incremental traffic volume in some Sectors of Indian Trade. It was mainly because of our nation's cautious approach, down to earth economic policies and dogmatic regulatory mechanisms in place that India continued to make unhindered progress despite adverse international scenario. Though the world economy seems to be slowly progressing, shedding the signs of impoverishment, it has not totally recovered. Major part of the world seems to be in turmoil or doldrums with uncertainty and fighting for unknown betterment as per their own whims. The EU and US economies continue to be cause for concern and there is no sign of a spurt in their traffic through the Indian Ports.

All the Major Ports of India put together handled 510.15 M Mt during the Year 2011-2012, which is actually less than the last year by 1.73% and handled 7.768 million TEUs of containers, registering an increase of 0.23% only.

On analyzing the Traffic at the Mumbai region’s two Major Ports - JN Port & Mumbai Port the following picture emerges:


  • It is observed that JN Port handled a throughput of 65.75 M Mt showing an increase of 11.74% and container traffic of 4.32M TEUs showing an increase of 1.19% which is marginal.
  • The JN Port continues to rank 3rd in terms of tonnage among the Major Ports, and, for containerized volume, it continues to be one of the top 20 Ports of the world. The container traffic in JNP is further set to grow substantially, provided it is able to proceed with the planned infrastructural developments.
  • The overall performance of the trade is exceedingly well at JNPT, considering the capacity constraints and hurdles it faced.
  • The rate at which traffic is increasing and planning of developments like deepening of the channel for attracting deeper vessels, it is expected that by the end of 2015-16 JNPT would attract more than 10M TEUs.

In fact, the Chairman JNPT also projected a volume of 10.5M TEU by then. We all can hope that the Port would equip itself to be ready for handling such a volume, as this would require a sea change in the structures, super-structures of the Port as well as in the associated ancillary infrastructures, besides, bringing a major attitudinal change in the management and operation itself. In short, the Port has to first mentally equip itself and also physically prepare itself to handle such a large volume.

The projects which await critical development are:


1. Construction of 4th Terminal by shifting the present Liquid Bulk Terminal.
2. Extension of the existing quay by 330 meter towards the North of NSICT.
3. Deepening of Main Entrance Channel. In this respect please note that JNPT has already signed the Contract and by the time we are having AGM dredging may also start.
4. Development of Road Connectivity.
5. Additional Rail Infrastructure. DFRC in which Maharashtra Government has already shown interest, consequently land acquisition and realignment seems to be on anvil.
6. An SEZ spread over 267 ha is being developed for 1st phase of land development.
7. The proposal for development of 5th Mega Container Terminal at Nhava is also mooted.
8. Additional liquid handling capacity of around 4 times of the existing capacity.
9. Additional bulk/break bulk berths with modern facilities.

The Port has finalized the Tender process for the 4th Container Terminal. It is our hope that there will be no more delay for taking the planned project of the creation of 4th Terminal further and that the Agreement is signed soon. We envisage the new operator shall be user friendly with modern amenities at the terminal.

As for the 330 meter extension, the Port is awaiting the Court verdict and should get started shortly.

The Port has successfully replaced the 3 brand new RMQCs with unhindered cooperation of all the Users. Especially, MANSA played a key role in coordinating with the members and the Port Authority. Other new RMQCs are expected to be installed by the end of this year to enhance Port productivity.

As regards the other projects mentioned above, the Port is proceeding in right earnest with sense of urgency and eagerness in handling these projects. This is a welcome sign which all of us in MANSA should encourage and support.

  • As regards the Mumbai Port, the Port has managed to hold on to its existing volume. It handled a throughput of 56.20 M Mt showing an increase of 10.03% while the container traffic was only 2772 TEUs which is -3.11% of the last year's figure. MANSA opposed the proposal of ICTPL for increasing the tariffs without augmenting any facilities.
  • Work on MbPT’s Off-shore Container Terminal (OCT) is still progressing and it is reported that the work may be completed by the end of 2012. However, the visible progress does not confirm that it will be ready by this year end. In any case, once this Terminal is completed we may see the revival of container activity once again at MbPT.
  • MbPT is known for handling multifarious cargoes like Break-bulk, Bulk and Liquid, Ro-Ro etc. in which it excels. If the Port provides better facilities and resolves the Trades difficulties, there could be a surge of number of commodities and the volume could substantially grow. Sadly, there is little attention to many of the requirements of the trade at present in MbPT. All Members are aware of the impediments and bottlenecks prevailing in Mumbai Port and with the new administrative head and MANSA's persistent efforts and its presence in the Board as a Trustee things may show improvement.

Major projects underway at MbPT are:
1) OCT Project.
2) Deepening and extending Harbour Wall Berths to attract deep drafted Bulk/Break-bulk vessels to enable larger vessels to call.
3) Providing a multipurpose large modern transit warehouse with car park at Harbour Wall for attracting PCCs and other Bulk/Break-bulk vessels.
4) Improved connectivity with Rail and road infrastructure.
5) Cruise Terminal and additional Pir Pau Berths.

If the Port is determined to retain the existing traffic and attract additional traffic, all the above projects are to be implemented in a proper time-bound schedule. Otherwise, cargoes will continue to be diverted to neighboring more efficient ports and the Institution called MbPT will exist mainly as the largest real estate owner of Mumbai.

MANSA constantly has Interactive meetings with MbPT on various issues such as:

  • Clarity in the Stevedoring rates for steel cargo.
  • Port Dues per entry of vessels which MANSA succeeded recently to bring about a semblance of some order.
  • Pilotage charges on shifting of vessels for Port requirement. MANSA took up this cause and succeeded in convincing the Port.
  • Excess/Undue recovery of Berth Hire charges on vessel stranded at the Port due to no fault of Vessels etc. It was taken up by MANSA continuously. In this case, please note vessels which were stranded in Port due to accident in Channel have been refunded the Berth Hire charges as and when approved by the Board.

We have been addressing these issues to the highest level at MbPT and also to TAMP. It is hoped that these issues will be resolved at the earliest to help Members.

There are other issues MANSA has been continuing to pursue and for which many representations have been made. These are:

1. Amendments in Section 116/148/30 of the Sea Custom Act 1962

We continue to pursue the Customs and CBEC for amending Sec. 116 of the Customs Act to make person filing the IGM responsible in accordance with the amended Sec. 30.

In fact, my predecessors had taken this matter very seriously. However, a solution evades with a not too accommodating stand taken by the CBEC. Our efforts will persist on this issue.

2. Long Standing Containers

While the Members are very familiar with this on-going issue some tangible improvement is in sight in reduction of number of containers held up.

3. Handling of Hazardous Cargo in MbPT

The ban on handling of hazardous cargo has been relaxed to some extent. The Port has agreed to examine on case to case basis for granting permission. MANSA's efforts are still going on to regularize a system in this regard. We have been advised that Port has already made out a note in this respect for approval by Board and may come up soon for Trustees to approve.

4. Single Authority for Mumbai Harbour

This is still an ongoing process. MANSA continues to endeavor for achieving this goal at the earliest. It will be earnestly followed up with MoS, JNPT and MbPT.

5. Freight Tax & DTA Issues

This also is an ongoing process due to frequent transfers of concerned officers and new issues surfacing in DTA agreements that affect shipping. All these issues come under one roof of International Taxation Division.

6. Service Tax

MANSA was very keen to arrange a Seminar on Service Tax also after the Seminar that was held on TDS but due to lack of enthusiasm and absolutely no response from the Members it could not be organized. Members are advised if they have any issues on Service Tax they can put them up to MANSA thereby enabling MANSA to arrange a Seminar with experts on these issues along with concerned officials of Service Tax Dept.


It is for all of us in MANSA to pursue these issues sincerely and dedicatedly so that shipping trade in these Ports, in particular, and in India, in general, progress effectively. The results obtained would definitely put MANSA in the forefront as a Torch Bearer of shipping in India.


I now would like to draw your attention to the activities of MANSA this year:
  1. Seminar with Income Tax Authorities on Tax Deduction at Source. This seminar was highly interesting, informative, educative and helpful to the Members in filing their returns without committing any infringements of Rules & Regulations.
  2. Release of Booklet on the Rotterdam Rules. MANSA released the Booklet on the Seminar on International Conference on Rotterdam Rules (ICRR) at the 33rd AGM which was held on 9th September 2011 at the hands of Shri. K. Mohandas, IAS, Secretary MoS and Dr. Satish Agnihotri, IAS, Director General Shipping. As all of you know Rotterdam Rules is a new Convention from the UNCTAD on carriage of cargo, formulated with the ambitious object of replacing the existing fragmented liability regimes world over with a uniform one. The Conference gave an opportunity to the participants for active floor participation.

I wish that in the near future MANSA will come out with many more such Conferences, Inter-active Seminars etc. to propagate knowledge.

MANSA after trying for long has introduced Training Course for the Members' Operation Staff. The training course curriculum drawn out contains all aspects of Container Vessels working, Break-bulk Vessels working, Bulk Vessels working, Port Operations, Operations connected with Authorities like Custom/Immigration etc and also Vessel Agency specific issues and a 'Training Module' has already been worked out by an expert Trainer in the field. In the first such training course from 16th April to 28th April 2012, there were adequate numbers of participants. Unfortunately, the training programme subsequently arranged had least response and thus had to be postponed and ultimately put in abeyance as of now till sufficient candidates are sponsored and made available by the Members.

It is sad that Members failed to recognize and take advantage of this open opportunity. In fact I have suggested the training course for absolutely new candidates selected from the children of Project Affected People (PAP) at Nhava and the children of the employees of JNPT & MbPT or any other qualified people who can be trained for subsequent absorption at base Posts besides existing new employees. By this way we can create a bank of trained people while ensuring succour to the needy people by fulfilling corporate social obligation also to the Trade.

I am very sad to observe that Members have not responded positively and mostly showed indifference. I urge upon you, we as a cohesive group should make it a point to go headlong for creating a corpus of trained people to tackle all our future needs. Let this be CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) of MANSA and its Members.

I urge the Members to come forward to sponsor as many of their Staff members as possible or other persons as mentioned above to participate in this training program and derive assured benefits by improved and efficient working as Ship Agents. The details of the course have already been circulated and now the ball is in your court to achieve progress in conducting training programs for creating a corpus of trained personnel by nominating candidates.



Cheers and wish you all the best,


Capt. Piyush Pal Singh
President

MANSA is a legally recognized, industry
acknowledged and completely unified
body of Ship Agents operating in
Mumbai Port and Jawaharlal Nehru Port .