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PRESIDENT'S WELCOME ADDRESS
36th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (2013–2014)


Dear Colleagues on the dais, respected seniors, EC Members, Members of MANSA, Ladies and Gentleman,

I take great pleasure in extending a very hearty and warm welcome to all of you at the 36th Annual General Meeting of MANSA.

I would like to thank all of you for giving me an opportunity to serve MANSA for the last two years and request your continuous support and active participation in the activities of MANSA for the coming years under the new leadership. I am proud of this Association and the people that made it strong. All of us, every team member, and I, as President have dedicated our productive time to MANSA. We do this in the hope that we are giving back in a small way to our association that has given us so much. We work together and associate ourselves with all MANSA Members because we believe that we can make a difference. It is this hope that motivates us. My key takeaways on this two year journey have been the relationship and knowledge that I have gained with the Trade, Govt. Authorities, Press and other likeminded bodies which kept MANSA and its activities visible.

During the Year 2013-14 the Executive Committee has put in great efforts functioning as a united force while initiating numerous tasks for improving the image of MANSA. You are aware that the main stress was on making MANSA's presence felt in the shipping industry and its suggestions are taken seriously by the Trade, Ports, Ministry, Customs and various enforcement Authorities. Accordingly, MANSA represented in various forums and highlighted the issues and remedies related to constraints, limitations, deficiencies and the necessity for improving the same to bring the Indian Shipping Sector to the international standards with a view to achieving competitiveness.

In order to make MANSA more visible and vibrant, the Executive Committee initiated the first step by launching a brand new Website with advanced features for ensuring that the voice of MANSA reaches to all stakeholders and other trade partners in the Maritime Sector. MANSA has ensured to meet the top level Officials personally and explain the role of MANSA in Indian Shipping especially in Mumbai and Nhava Sheva region as and when the key posts of the Port, Customs, DGS etc. are filled with new persons. Besides welcoming them MANSA extended an assurance that it would be very glad to assist and work shoulder to shoulder and help in their respective functioning for improving shipping.

We can positively assert that MANSA with its active role has definitely achieved a status as a consultative body by the Ministry, Ports, DGS etc. MANSA has taken part in CTL Exhibition for the first time to showcase its prestigious status as one of the Key players in Indian Shipping in this region. MANSA is actively involved in discussions with DG /DGLL along with INSA and CSLA in the study for rationalization of Light dues payable for different type of vessels and in particular, light dues applicability on Containers loaded on deck cargo and also applicability of VTMS charges at Gujarat Ports. All the three Associations jointly decided to appoint a consultant M/s I Maritime Consultancy Private Ltd. to study and submit a report on this and find alternate method for calculating ILH without affecting the overall revenue of the DGLL.

DG Shipping's Order to facilitate growth of Indian tonnage and allowing local fleet owners to register their ships either in India or abroad and such ships registered abroad will come under the category of Indian controlled tonnage and the decision for issuing life time licenses to Indian ships or any other ship chartered by an Indian citizen which would partially eliminate numerous hurdles simplifying the procedure. No doubt these are all welcome steps initiated by the new Government.

This year also we have witnessed that the Traffic handled in State owned Major Ports has been significantly shifted to the privately run Ports because of the existence of better infrastructure and higher efficiency there. The infrastructure needed to cope with the modern deeper draught container vessels has been created at the newer Ports in Gujarat like Mundra etc.

Mundra Port has achieved a new land mark of handling 100m MT in the financial year 2013-14. Mundra is the only commercial port in INDIA achieved such a unique feat. We congratulate the Mundra Port Management for this achievement and wish them all the best to achieve their vision target of 200 million by 2020.

Kandla Port has handled as much as 87m MT of cargo and JNPT 62m MT, continuing to be the No.1 Port in India in container handling. JN Port has handled -3.32 % of total traffic compared to last year. JNPT Terminal has achieved better result in container handling compared DP World Terminal. This can be attributable to the voluntary reduction by DP World. JNPT has undertaken enhancing capacity of their Terminals. They have signed agreement for development of 330mtrs stand alone Container Terminal with a capacity of 0.8m TEUs. They have also signed the Concession Agreement for the 4th Container Terminal of 4.8m TEUS capacity. They have undertaken the dredging of the Channel and present draught available is 14 mtrs. so far. JNPT will therefore retain its glory in the international trade with improved performances by APM Terminal and other Terminals of bulk & container handling. Other infrastructure development initiated by JNP are the SEZ, as self-sustainable integrated development project having potential of generating 1.5 Lakh direct and indirect jobs and port connectivity Highway project with a cost Rs 1900 Crores which is expected to be completed by end of December 2017/2018.

MbPT on the contrary has improved its traffic figures compared to last year's 58m MT. They have achieved 59m MT showing +1.98% upward growth. This is primarily achieved due to incremental traffic in coal stream discharge and POL products. However, the Port has not shown any improvement in attracting container and other break bulk traffic. It is disheartening that they have not shown any inclination for improving the facilities and conditions conducive to handle even regular ships. The Port has undertaken dredging after a lot of persuasion and there was great inconvenience to the vessels most of the time. The cost of handling of the cargo / ship in the Port became expensive due to incidents of wrong / inflated billing. A number of issues have been taken up and sorted out with the Port viz. issues related to double charging of Pilotage, Stevedoring Charges levied on cargo handled in stream etc. besides various operational and administrative issues. However, we find neither much improvement nor any response from the Port even though the issues have been taken up with the Ministry, TAMP, DGS etc. The Port continued to drag its feet on utilization of OCT.

MANSA has actively taken up various operational issues with JNPT as well and tried to sort them out to the best possible extent. We may admit that this could be achieved partially. The simple issue like carrying out minor repairs to the guard rails of the containers on board or immobilization of the ship in an emergency while the ship is alongside the berth could not be sorted out. MANSA has taken up the issue of 'Go Slow' and stoppage of work in the private terminals which was attended to at its own pace. The heavy congestion in the adjoining access roads continues to be a major stumbling block to the Port performance. There is large scale pendency of ICD containers destined to TKD etc. The movement of ICD traffic especially to TKD is alarming at all Ports.The huge ICD pendency at west coast ports for ICD TKD has crossed 18000 TEUs mark in the month of September 2014 and delay in railing is almost 20 days. Inspite of several follow ups with CONCOR there is no break trough to ease this huge backlog and they contend that the situation is bad due to imbalance of to and fro EXIM Containers traffic.

The contentious issues on revision of Tariffs both by MbPT & JNPT sent by TAMP for MANSA's comments have been appropriately analyzed and logically argued and presented after drawing proper conclusions with regards to the unjustifiable proposals for enhancing the tariffs. MANSA can take credit with regard to TAMP's disapproval on levy of Cess on the containers being handled by GTI Terminal deeming that an exclusive infrastructure has been created for facilitating smooth movement of the traffic generated to and fro the Terminal. It was abundantly made clear that the infrastructure creation, maintenance and development has been considered while fixing up the tariffs by the Port and there is no justification for levy of additional Cess. TAMP has concurred with the view of MANSA. With regard to increase in tariffs of MbPT, MANSA has opposed the proposal of increasing the tariffs upto 43% and above. It is now finally approved by TAMP that the incremental tariff should be upto 20% only. The views of MANSA are also vindicated in case of the proposals made by JNPT on Reference Tariffs proposed for newly planned Terminals in JNPT.

MANSA also endeavoured to conduct Training on Foundation Course on Shipping Logistics. However, due to inadequate response it could not be continued.

MANSA maintained very cordial relations and rapport with CSLA, CFSAI, BCHAA, AMTOI etc. We have periodically taken part in the joint meetings with a view to understanding their problems related to Bills of Lading, ADO, Payments due to the Ship Agents etc. and mostly amicably sorted them. MANSA also facilitated BCHAA free access to its website giving them a link whereby they can incorporate and update their Members List who are entitled to taking credit upto Rs.1 Lakh towards ship agency related charges.

It is regretted that the international trade continued to be in downward trend for the past couple of years and this has adversely affected the Shipping Industry and EXIM Trade of India. Added to this, the costs of transportation in the hinterland have steeply gone up due to hike in fuel prices. However, a silver lining in the economy of the country is the awareness of the industry that there is urgent need for changing the systems simplifying the procedures, amending the existing antiquated Rules / Regulations and Acts for betterment of the processes in execution and enforcement. Hopefully, the Maritime Trade would bounce back and help the ship agency business to grow multifold. With the current high level of cellular demolition and fairly restrained new building seen in 2014 so far, the container industry has plenty to be positive about.

MOS initiative to double the cargo handling capacity of Major Ports from the existing 800 million in the next 5 years, Shipping Ministry's proposal to corporatize and set up a new company with equity participation from all 12 Major Ports,to implement new rail projects within and between the Major Ports etc. look really like loadstars for shipping.

It is overwhelming and pleasing to note the Member's evincing keen interest to participate in MANSA Election process. It clearly shows in the last two years our attempt to promote and evoke the interest of our Members has yielded a very good result. For election of 12 Executive Committee Members, 20 Members were nominated and contested from among our Member Companies. It has resulted, no doubt, in a healthy competition and keen contest. I hope with this great enthusiasm the new Committee would help elevate MANSA to greater and higher levels as a vibrant organization.

The past 35 years have been an amazing journey for us. MANSA has given me the platform to relate and consciously identify something more than my self-worth. I am leaving this chair which was occupied by great visionaries with the satisfaction of knowing that I tried my best with integrity for the service of my Association. Today at the end of this AGM I leave MANSA in the able hands of my successors / colleagues. Be assured that MANSA will continue to strive towards excellence as has been done by our previous Executive committees. I thank each and every member of MANSA, the Executive Committee, Sub-Committee, Secretariat and the Media for their support without which it would not have been possible for me to function as President of MANSA and maintain the brand image.

Shipping as a key sector in the economy of the country plays an important role while protecting the country's maritime rights and leads to promotion in the economic scenario by progressive exports and industrial development. So it is worthwhile to note ensuing positive steps initiated by our new Govt. would help to ease the procedural hurdles, improve the infrastructure in port and road sector, facilities for ship building and to improve coastal traffic.

I regret to mention that Dr. Shanti Patel, an eminent, versatile and most popular Trade Union Leader, passed away on 13th June 2014. On behalf of MANSA, I would like to convey my heartfelt condolences to the family and place on record our deep gratitude towards his contributions to the Indian Shipping Industry.

Once again, thank each and everybody for the support and look forward to more support from each and every member to make this organization more visible and proactive for the benefit of our Members.





I wish you all the best,


K. P. Unnikrishnan
President

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