Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ports should plough back profit portion into society

Ports to be evaluated on the basis of social equity: Vasan


The Shipping Ministry will soon start evaluating the 12 Union Government-run Major Ports on the basis of economic performance, social equity and environmental responsibility, Union Minister of Shipping G. K. Vasan has announced.

Addressing the gathering during the launch of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects of Ennore Port Ltd (EPL) here, he said that ports, apart from earning revenues for the exchequer, should engage in environment protection activities and in discharging social responsibilities.

The Minister stated: “Just as the ports have contributed to the growth of their hinterlands, people in its hinterlands have contributed to the growth of the ports. Hence, I directed the ports to set aside three per cent of their profits for CSR activities. Most of the ports have responded positively, and EPL is one of the most active ports in this aspect and constantly doing for society,” he said.

For 2014-15, Ennore Port will take up CSR projects with an investment of Rs. 3.5 crores for capacity-building, skill development, infrastructural development and another Rs.1.5 crores for water and waste management, energy management and promotion of renewal energy, bio-diversity conservation and protection, conservation and reservation of eco-systems under the head of environment sustainability.

“We need to look into gradually introducing the concept of ‘triple bottom line reporting’ or TBL where ports set goals and publish reports in terms of profits, environment-friendly initiatives and CSR activities,” the Minister pointed out.

He also said that Ennore Port’s capacity will be more than doubled from the present 30 MTPA to about 67 MTPA by the end of 12th Plan due its expansion works.

Talking about his visit to Japan along with a Shipping Ministry delegation, Mr. Vasan observed that the Shipping Ministry is trying to seek Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) funding for the Outer Harbour project of VOC Port in Tuticorin.

He said that he had impressed upon the Japanese authorities about VOC Port emerging as a hub for EXIM trade in the near future.

Elaborating further about his Japan visit, he noted that he visited Port of Yokohama and Port of Nagoya to see the port operations and the latest technologies being utilized in these two ports.

Besides other senior officials from Chennai and Ennore ports, Mr. M. A. Bhaskarachar, CMD, Ennore Port, and Mr. Atulya Misra, Chairman, Chennai Port Trust, attended the function.

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