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NOTES FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DIARY
THIRTY FIRST ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (2008 – 2009)


When the newly elected members of the Executive Committee requested me to be the President, I was very reluctant as I was conscious of my limitations, some of which are not known to others. But, I do know that these would come in the way of my being able to discharge my duties effectively, as I was aware of the fact that the work of MANSA President is one of dynamic activity, if one has to do justice to the confidence reposed by the Members

More importantly, the reason I was hesitant was because I was skeptical on being able to motivate our E.C. Members, Past Presidents and the Luminaries of our Industry and Members to actively participate in the common interests of our Association

The last one year has been a revelation to me. Not only have the E.C. Members been far more active than I can remember (I should know as I have been an E.C. Member for more than 20 years), the Past Presidents have responded to calls without any hesitation. It was heartening to see the willing support and enthusiasm of our Luminaries when we called on them for advice on the future course of action.

The Secretariat has been keeping you updated with circulars and notices on the day to day developments taken up and reported by our vigilant and active sub-committees. A topic wise list of circulars is available on our website for easy reference.

I will not comment too much on the Economic Scenario as it has become a guessing game. Imports, especially raw materials, have increased substantially. However, there has been a sharp decline in the exports from India.

There is a strong indication that International Trade is going to double in the year 2011/2012 and that is why the Government is keen on doubling the Port capacities by 2012!!!! We will discuss more on this later.

There have been several developments taking place during the last one year and MANSA has actively participated in all of them to ensure that Members' interests are protected.


The Shipping Trade Practices Bill:

It was observed that the contents of the Draft posed too many conflicts and contradictions. There was confusion over the jurisdictional propriety of the STP Act, tantamounting to running a parallel Act viz-a-viz MMTG Act/COGSA/Bill of Lading Act etc. The various Stakeholders have provided detailed comments. However, it was seen that their inputs were not taken into account while drafting the said STP Act. As per MANSA, the Draft violates several constitutional principles. It was felt that Draft is one sided and it addresses only to Service Providers where as the responsibility of the Users was not addressed at all. It was further found that the Draft was not a perfect document and therefore Govt. needed to have a re-look at the various provisions made therein and decide if at all such an STP Act needs to be promulgated when there are many controlling Acts like MMTG Act, MPT Act, BL Act, Customs Act, Light Dues Act, Ports Act added with controls from DG Shipping, Custom & Port Trust etc. The Govt. itself had observed that the Legislation should intend to avoid “Unintended deleterious consequences”. The new Law should support and enhance the smooth running of the shipping economic activities and should not cause hindrance thereat.

The dormant issue of the Draft STP Act (Proposed) which was lying in the cold storage till 2009 was brought up by the MoC/Govt., by issuing a Public Notice (PN) calling for the comments on the proposed amendments from the public and all the Stakeholders.

MANSA took up the issue and represented to MoS & MoC and submitted detailed comments suggesting amendments required to be incorporated, if the STP Act is not to be set aside.

The Govt. of India under the MoS constituted a ‘Working Group’ headed by DG Shipping & representations from various trade bodies, Associations including MANSA, to suggest amendments and modifications in the proposed STP Bill. MANSA worked closely with other Associations like FEDSAI / CSLA / INSA/ AMTOI / BCCI.

MANSA was represented by Mr. C. S. Manohar our Sr. Past President and Capt. B. Mahapatra, EC Member and myself. FEDSAI was represented by Mr. C. R. Nambiar our Past President.
Mr. C. S. Manohar / Mr. C. R. Nambiar carried the heavy mantle and gave one of the finest representations in the “Working Group”. The MANSA representation amongst the joint efforts of CSLA, AMTOI & FEDSAI has been well received. Many Joint meetings were held by MANSA with INSA /CSLA /AMTOI & SCI too to drive home our points forcefully in the well represented platform of the Govt. set for all trade representative bodies.

The Working Group of DG Shipping has formed a Sub-Committee of 4 Members to finalize the proposed re-amended Draft of the STP Bill submitted by the Corporate Law Group (CLG). In this special committee of 4 Members Mr. C. R. Nambiar has been nominated by DG Shipping to represent MANSA & FEDSAI in finalizing the draft. At present the matter stands there.


Amendment to Major Port Trust Act:

A special committee of 3 senior Members of MANSA has been formed to go into the details of studying the MPT Act and suggesting required amendments. MANSA has also approached a renowned Law specialist, Advocate Prashant Pratap for an effective draft of the required amendments, with special reference to Section 2 ‘O’. After receipt of the Draft Letter the special committee will finalize the same and will be sent to IPA with a copy to MoS/MoL. The Advocate has been requested to expedite the issue.


Amendment to Section 116/30 of the Customs Act:

One of the long pending and most bothering issues is Amendment to Section 116 of the Sea Custom Act. This issue was raised in almost all the SCOPE meetings from 2005 onwards by MANSA. CBEC responded to our first submission by regretting their inability to consider our request to revisit Sec.116 and the liability arising out of Manifest being filed by “any other authorized person”. We persisted and again took up the issue with a detailed submission sent to the Ministry of Shipping / Ministry of Commerce for early reconsideration and also to carry out the suggested amendments. As there was no response from the Govt., despite our reminder, a further submission was sent to Chairman CBEC and its Members as recently as in April 2009 detailing full facts and the need for immediate consideration of the Amendments to Section 116 of the Customs Act so as to provide level playing field to the Carrier/Agents. A further proposal was sent to CBEC in July 2009 seeking amendments in Section 116/30 of the Sea Custom Act and also seeking personal hearing on the issue and sought appointment with CBEC.

In the meanwhile, Director CBEC, by his letter dated 29th June 2009 (received on 29th July 2009) replied that our request for amendment cannot be acceded to. A joint meeting of the affected Associations was therefore arranged on 11th August 2009 where representatives of CSLA; INSA; SCI & FEDSAI attended the meeting. The issue was discussed threadbare and it has been decided to send a further representation to CBEC, MoS/MoC. Each Association has also been requested to send individual representation pressing for early solution on the issue. MANSA will continue to persist on this issue, until the Govt. yields as we are convinced that our contention is just.


Choice of C.F.S.:

This issue is gaining momentum and we have effectively conveyed the implications involved to the JN Customs in cases where the Importer / CHA is allowed to choose CFSs after filing the IGM. While there is no objection to the choice of the CFSs by the Importer CHAs, it is important that ownership/title of the goods is established and all charges are paid for by the claimant prior filing of the manifest to enable the Line/Agent to arrange for such delivery to their preferred CFS. Once IGM is filed and the CFS declared therein, the same cannot be amended as per the Choice of CHA/Importer. The same issue is now pending with the H’ble High Court, Chennai, on a petition filed by CSLA. In an interim Order passed by the H’ble Court, status quo ante is to be prevailed, with choice of CFS being put on hold. It may, therefore, be worthwhile to wait till the final judgement is pronounced before we take any step further on this issue.


Infrastructure Developments:

One of the main reasons in the delayed turnaround of vessels & lack of capacity to handle larger vessels to take advantage of the 'Economies of Scale' is the lack of required draft in the Main Channel.

The delay in the allotment of the tender and commencement of work on dredging and other infrastructure development projects was brought to the notice of the Secretary of Shipping. It was also pointed out that the main reason for the delay in the implementation of the Projects was the short/last assignments/term of the Chairman appointed and we, therefore, recommended a change in the future appointment of Chairmen i.e. extension in the tenure and an age limit at the time of appointment.


Present status/developments in the dredging of the Mumbai/JNPT Main Channel:

The Main channel being common for both MbPT & JNPT, an agreement has been reached between the two Ports under the direction of the Govt. that the cost of dredging will be shared by MbPT & JNPT in the ratio of 1:7 and the entire main channel dredging project is undertaken by JNPT for which JNPT is processing the Tender for award dredging contract.


JN PORT

4th Terminal:

JNPT has invited Tenders for awarding a contract to run the Terminal on BOT basis. The project is under the initial stage of tender processing and RFQ has been invited.


Berth extension by 330 mtrs:

As regards Berth extension by 330 mtrs. to the north of NSICT Terminal, after completing the Tender process, the proposal has been sent to the Govt. and Port is awaiting for Govt. clearance of the project. The RFP procedure will follow once the security clearance is obtained. The expected period for RFP process is 6 months ending December 2009.


Replacement of R.M.Q.Cs:

It is informed that Crane No. 7, which was made redundant, after an unfortunate accident, is now reported to have started functioning and the performance has badly affected after the incident. Regarding replacement of other cranes, the tender process has commenced and will be issued soon. One crane is expected to be delivered to the Port within 15 months time. A further order for three more cranes is being processed and is expected to be placed shortly. Why the order for these could not have been clubbed with the order for the single crane is not understood.

Again, it is reported that JNPT is reconsidering leasing of 3 cranes for a period of 5 years. It is bewildering that this proposal was considered about two years ago, shelved, and, again being reconsidered. In the meantime, lines operating from JNPCT either shifts or continue to suffer!


Rail/Road connectivity and evacuation of cargoes:

Much is needed to be done in this area of logistic infrastructural support. All the Terminals of JNPT are suffering from heavy congestion of ICD Containers clustering the Port Terminals. CONCOR has tried to facilitate by increasing the rail connectivity to the ICDs by increasing the number of rakes from 15-16 to 20-21 per day. Even though many private rail operators do operate in providing rail connectivity, the desired results have not yet been reached with the result the congestion of ICD Containers has become a yearly phenomenon. MANSA has taken up the issue with Port Authorities, CONCOR and Terminals to address the issue. MANSA has made joint effort with CSLA to ease the congestion by providing better rail/road connectivity.

On the issue of rail pendency at JNPT, one issue that the authorities are raising is the unpredictable manner in which the Lines keep bringing ICD containers destined to Ludhiana, particularly. It is alleged that the Lines do not give any notice to the rail operators about such increase in volume. Perhaps, a better interaction with CONCOR and other operators may be needed to provide free flow of information. Similarly, it is for the Customs and Ministry of Commerce to look into the sudden preference of Ludhiana ICD and the consequent volume increase.


MUMBAI PORT

Development/Progress in the construction of the O.C.T.:

The Port completed the DPR in December 2001 for construction of Offshore Container Terminal Berths. The technical details are:
2 Berths measuring 700mtr. Long x 58 mtr. Wide (800 mtrs. Offshore)
14.5 mtrs. Draught
Container Vessels capacity 6000 TEUs
Capacity of the Berth after commissioning will be 0.8 million TEUs
Estimate cost of project Rs.1460 Crores, of which, Port’s share will be Rs. 445/- Crores
2 Approach Trestles of approx. 1000 mtr. In length and 12 mtr. Wide connecting Berths & Shore
Container Yard capacity 3400 down slots
RCD for handling container
6 QGCs & 18 RTGs & 2 RMGCs for RCD


Work Progress: LOI issued in August 2007
Govt. sanction was received in March 2009 and
Agreement signed with BOT Operator in December 2008
Fabrication of gantry and Jack Up Platform for civil work has been mobilized
Port has awarded dredging contract for MbPT component of work in April 2009.
Jet probing work is in progress.


STATUS/DEVELOPMENTS OF OTHER PROJECTS IN MUMBAI PORT

Dredging of the Harbour Wall & Approach Channels:

Deepening the Harbour Wall Berths and a Cruise Terminal was originally conceptualized by MANSA.

Meetings were held between MbPT and MANSA and resultantly some time during 2002-2003 an effective plan was drawn for development of Harbour Wall berths into deep drafted berths so as to cater to the Bulk Carriers. Tenders were invited for dredging and deepening the approach channel and Harbour Wall berths in July 2008. Only single Bidder responded and the offer was felt to be on the higher side, and, therefore, the Tender was discharged and another Tender was called for in April 2009. The Department felt that no blasting work is involved for dredging and putting off of the ‘Coffer Dam’. On the basis of new facts, review and advice of experts on removal of Coffer Dam and revised cost analysis Tender documents were re-prepared and the Tender is re-invited.

Tender for Civil Work was invited in August 2008 and submission of the same was re-scheduled to July 2009.

Both the projects were cleared by the Planning Commission in the Year 2006 and it was envisaged that the work would be completed by the Year 2012. The new schedule for the completion of the project is yet to be fixed.


Construction of the Harbour Wall Berths with draft of 12 mtrs.:

Berth Nos. 18-21 at Indira Dock are planned to be re-developed for handling vessels from 30,000 to 80,000 DWT (Flat Bedded) Vessels
The berthing pocket and the navigational channel width are to be widened from 40 – 50 mtr. & 75-125 mtrs. respectively.
New berthing face will be on Pile Foundation 10 mtrs. away from the existing berthing face.
The handling capacity: 8 million tonnes per annum and
The estimated cost; about Rs.360 Crores for which Govt. sanction was received in January 2008.


Construction of a Cruise Terminal:

The Cruise Terminal which was planned has met a rocky end as the Defense Ministry has raised objection and the Authorities are pursuing the issue with the Ministry (2009).


Construction of Two Multipurpose Sheds in Indira Dock:

1) Multipurpose Shed admeasuring 20,000 Sq.m area with roof top storage for vehicles:

Sometime in the Year 2005, MANSA suggested requirement of a large Multi-purpose covered shed which could cater to the 2 requirements of:
(i) A covered space for Break Bulk/Steel Cargo
(ii) Car parking/storage space for EXIM cars.
After continuous persuasion by MANSA, sometime in 2007, Port prepared a plan for Multi-purpose Covered Shed as above. After several inter-active meetings with MANSA a conceptual design was finalized. In-principle approval was given by the Board in 2008 to invite Tenders. MbPT is presently in the process of preparing the Tender after which it will be placed before the Board of MbPT, hopefully, sometime in the year 2009 itself.


2) Multipurpose Shed admeasuring 8,000 Sq.m area at 5 ID:

Same is the status of 8,000 Sqm. Storage Shed at 5 ID which has been principally approved by the Board and the Tenders are being worked out and invited as above. Further, the Engineering Department has invited offer for Architectural Engineering Services for the construction of these 2 Multi-purpose Sheds at ID and a pre-bid meeting was held in July 2009.


Provision of a dedicated Ro-Ro Facility at 1-2 Indira Dock to handle Ro-Ro Traffic:

MbPT has floated Tenders inviting RFQ for the above 2 projects for operating private Terminals on BOT basis for a period of 20 years in July 2009.


Development of Cargo Terminals on PPP Basis at Berth Nos. 10/11 & 12 Indira Dock for Conventional General Cargoes And at Berth Nos. 1 & 2 Indira Dock for Bulk Cargoes:

As MbPT was catering to Ro-Ro Traffic and the EXIM trade in vehicles took an impetus. MANSA demanded an exclusive Ro-Ro handling facility at Berth No.1-2 ID by providing a suitable Ro-Ro ramp sometime in October 2007. MANSA as well as other users and Associations pressed for immediate action by discussing in various meetings and suggesting plans. A special team of MANSA also had interactive meetings with the Engineer concerned and a scheme was approved upon which MbPT promptly responded and a Ro-Ro facility at 1-2 ID was inaugurated by the newly appointed Chairman MbPT on 26th August 2008. The technical features of the Ro-Ro Ramp are as under:

a) Sloping Length of Ramp : 9.6 Mtrs.
b) Width of the Ramp : 18 Mtrs.
c) Cost : Rs.29.7 Lakhs
d) Period of Construction : 3 months
e) Fenders Cylindrical Rubber : 2 Nos.


Construction of 2nd Berth for Handling Liquid Chemicals/Specialized Grades of POL off Pir Pau Pier:

The berthing capacity will be to cater to the vessels upto 37,000 DWT and a throughput of 2 million tonnes per annum. The project is estimated to cost Rs.116 Crores and has been sanctioned by the Govt. in November 2007. The Tender work for the above project is in progress and tender for dredging work is invited in July 2009.


Construction of 5th Oil Berth at Jawahar Dweep:

This project envisages construction of modern oil berth for handling large oil tankers of 1,50,000 DWT and the capacity of the Berth would be 18 million tonnes per annum. Consultants were appointed by the Port in February 2007 and DPR was finalized in September 2008. Further work of obtaining statutory clearance is in progress


Mbpt has also the following schemes on the anvil:

Scheme – 1 Development and operation of two Graving Dry Docks one each of size equivalent to the existing Graving Dry Docks of MbPT or Graving Dry Docks of suitable nos. and sizes with or without synchrolift/ shiplift facilities or for the operation of Floating Dry Docks of suitable nos. and sizes at Berth Nos. 5, 6, 7 and 8 in Indira Dock.
Scheme – 2 Development and operation of Ship-Repair Facilities such as: Slipways etc. at Clarke Basin, Mazagaon.
Scheme – 3 Development of a Marina for providing a floating shelter and small boat/yacht repair facilities at the MbPT Workshop Wharf and water front and Frere Basin wharf and water front.
and has invited Expression Of Interest (EOI) seeking applications through PPP venture in June 2009. Last date of submission of EOI is 31st August 2009.

Developments in the extended Port Limits, Bunders etc.:

While Ports around the country are struggling to maintain or marginally increase throughputs by improving facilities and incentives, MbPT & JNPT are pulling strings with the Government to ensure that the coastal crude oil exported by ONGC is moved through their berths !!!

The throughput being shown by Mumbai Port is fictitious, in the sense, MbPT has little or no involvement, except that of being the “Landlord”. Sixty percent of the cargo of 50 million tonnes comes from cargo transiting the Mumbai Harbour for discharge at Daramthar, Underground pipelines carrying Crude Oil from Mumbai High Oilfields to Shore Tanks/Installations and bulk coal being discharged in Inner Anchorage and offloaded in the Bunders.


MANSA mooted the idea of a Harbour Authority to combine the requirements of the entire region:

When the new Government was formed and Mr. G. K. Vasan took over as the Minister of Shipping, the Ministry decided to fast-track some of the pending infrastructure projects. However, none of the Infrastructure projects in Mumbai & JNPT were mentioned in the priority list.

MANSA wrote to the Minister with copies to the Secretary of Shipping and the Chairmen of both ports emphasizing the importance of expediting the pending projects and once again mooted the essentiality of forming a Harbour Authority for the development of the entire region instead of having projects being delayed for unacceptable reasons.

One of the serious drawbacks in our efforts remains that of not having a strong lobbying efforts with the authority. Unless this aspect is given due consideration, not much success will be met, despite best of our efforts.


Joint Meetings with Associations:

MANSA initiated a meeting between MANSA/FEDSAI/CSLA and INSA. All the Associations have shown a keen interest and the next step will be to bring in the Trade Associations including AMTOI, BCHAA, FFFAI etc. to form a single strong lobby.

Obviously the lobby is going to grow stronger and stronger and my fear is that MANSA identity will get lost in the process. It is my suggestion, which is open for discussion, that in addition to the present office bearers, MANSA should be represented by one of our ex Presidents who is still active in Shipping and has the capacity and connections to lead this MOVEMENT.



Cheers !!!

V. C. D’SOUZA
PRESIDENT

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