Union Cabinet approves revised Model Concession Agreement for building ports

The Union Cabinet has approved the revised model concession agreement for public private partnership projects in major ports. An official statement said amendments were made in the model concession agreement to make the port projects more investor-friendly and make investment climate in the port sector more attractive.

The amendments in the pact envisage constitution of the Society for Affordable Redressal of Disputes – Ports (SAROD-PORTS) as a dispute resolution mechanism similar to the provision available in highway sector.

The approval provides an exit route to developers by way of divesting their equity up to 100 per cent after completion of 2 years from the commercial operation date. This is now similar to the MCA provision in highway sector.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has also approved the construction, operation and maintenance of 2-lane bi-directional Zojila Tunnel with Parallel Escape (Egress) Tunnel.

According to an official statement, construction of this tunnel will provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh and will bring about all-round economic and socio-cultural integration of these regions.

Construction period of the project is seven years which shall be reckoned from the date of commencement of construction. Civil construction cost of the project is Rs. 4,899.42 crore.

Total capital cost of the project is Rs. 6,808.69 crore. It includes the cost towards land acquisition, resettlement & rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities as well as maintenance and operation cost of the tunnel for four years.

CCEA has also approved mandatory packaging of foodgrains and sugar in the jute material for the Jute Year 2017-2018. An official statement said, “The decision would sustain the core demand for the jute sector and support the livelihood of the workers and farmers dependent on the sector.”

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