Cochin Port Trust Down with Fertilizers Import Income

Published on: 19 Oct, 2013
Published under: Cochin District News, Ernakulam District News

18 October 2013
Kochi

The Cochin Port Trust is likely to lose income through fertilizer import, with the Union Ministry of Fertilizer suggesting that Fertilizers and Chemical Travancore Ltd (FACT) consider shifting fertiliser import to Tuticorin port, owing to exorbitant handling charges in Kochi.

“We have received a communication from the Ministry in this regard,” confirmed FACT authorities. “The decision was taken not by the FACT but by the Ministry. A comparison of charges at Cochin and Tuticorin ports showed that the expense can be brought down by 50 per cent if it is handled in Tuticorin,” said FACT authorities.

Around 12 lakh tonnes of fertilizers are being handled at Tuticorin port in a month. The cost of handling fertilizers in Kochi is `1,726 per tonne, while the charge at Tuticorin for the same is `848. None of the ports in India exact more than `900 per tonne. According to the Port Trust authorities, certain reasons on which they have no control add to the high charges in Kochi. This includes storage, packing,loading and unloading.

The low rate of clearance of imported fertilizers has also become a setback for the port. In 2011 December,thousands of tonnes of urea and potash imported by the FACT and the Indian Potash Limited (IPL) piled up in the godowns of the CPT for want of labourers to clear them. It took about six months to clear the piled-up fertilizers.

Compartmentalisation of labour into various watertight pools within the Welfare Board, where over 2,500 workers are registered, was the cause of the shortage of labourers. Despite the lack of work for them in other pools, they could not be spared by the board, resulting in shortage amidst plenty. The Welfare Board was able to supply only around 40 workers on an average against the demand of 120.

Source– http://newindianexpress.com

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