New Delhi: India's 12 major ports saw capacity addition of a record 94 million tonne (MT) last fiscal year that ended on March 31, earning a profit of Rs 4,268 crore on the back of various government initiatives, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Saturday.
Projects worth Rs 72,818 crore have been awarded for ports modernisation as well as new port/terminal development, he said, adding that contracts worth Rs 60,000 crore would be awarded by May 26.
"Financial Year 2015-16 has been historic for the Ports sector in the country, with 94 MT capacity added through 34 capital investment projects which is the highest in major ports history," Mr Gadkari told reporters here.
He said ports capacity has been increased 4.3 per cent.
Kandla became the first major port to reach 100 MT traffic in a year helped by 20 per cent improvement in port efficiency while JNPT became the first major port to reach Rs 1,000 crore net profit helped by 12 per cent of efficiency improvement, the minister said after the second meeting of the National Sagarmala Apex Committee (NSAC) here.
Paradip Port achieved highest coal loading volumes of 24 MT with 30 per cent efficiency improvement, he said adding the port efficiency improvement has added 50 MTPA of cargo handling capacity leading to high returns for ports with comparatively low investments.
Stating that the ports have continued their recovery, Mr Gadkari informed that operating profit margins for major ports improved from 27 per cent in FY 2013-14 to 39 per cent in FY16.
"The major ports have increased their operating profits from Rs 3,593 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 4,268 crore in 2015-16, registering increase of about Rs 670 crore," he said.
The minister said efficiency improvement has lowered logistics cost for the trade, creating a estimated benefit of about Rs 500 crore per year.
Also, the turnaround time has reduced by over 40 per cent in Paradip, Tuticorin and Vizag, he said.
While emphasising on the need for pushing port and port led development, Gadkari said that the forthcoming Maritime India Summit would be a game changer.
He said there were plans to set up several industrial zones at ports like Kandla and Haldia to spur economic growth.
The minister said that as part of modernisation and upgradation of ports various steps are being taken including implementation of 104 initiatives to reduce time and cost of operations in ports as per best global practices.
Thirty of the 104 initiatives have been implemented and the remaining will be implemented over various phases by 2019.
India has 12 major ports - Kandla, Mumbai, JNPT, Marmugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Ennore, V O Chidambarnar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia), which handle approximately 61 per cent of the country's total cargo traffic.