February 20: The Major Ports Authority Bill, 2020 was passed through ballot votes in the Rajya Sabha on February 10 with 84 votes in its favour and 44 against it. The Lok Sabha had passed the bill on September 23 last year. It replaces the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963.
Allaying fears that the Bill aims at privatisation of the country’s top 12 major ports, Ports, Shipping and Waterways Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said it seeks to provide autonomy to these ports and boost their decision-making powers in order to compete with private ports. The Bill would turn these ports into world-class ports and enable their boards to take decisions on their own, he said.
The Bill will apply to the major ports of Chennai, Cochin, Jawaharlal Nehru Port, Kandla, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Mangalore, Mormugao, Paradip, V.O.
Chidambaranar, and Vishakhapatnam. Key features of the Bill include creation of a Board of Major Port Authority for each major port. These Boards will replace the existing Port Trusts.

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