India’s largest coal handling port Paradip is struggling to clear its imported coal cargo due to the state government’s storage and transportation restrictions imposed on minerals.
Realizing that the restriction is going to affect its business, the Paradip Port has written to the state government, urging it to relax the restriction for imported coal and other minerals.
The port has stated that it is not able to evacuate the coal imported and thus not able to handle new arrivals.
“Imported coal is dumped in the port premises because of the state government’s new storage and transportation license policy,” said a senior official of the port.
According to him, this has choked the port’s business. The port is not able to import more coal even though there is a demand in the hinterland as there is no space to store new arrivals.
Following allegations of a multi-crore mining scam, the state government has imposed restriction on storage and transportation of raw materials. It has made it compulsory that there should be valid storage licence and transportation permit for handling minerals in the state.
The port official said that since the policy is aimed at curbing theft of minerals or illegal storage and transportation, it should have been applicable for the minerals meant for exports and not for imported minerals.
Paradip port is the largest coal handling port in the country. The port handled 22 million tonnes coal in 2011-12. It has imported 6 million tonnes of coal last fiscal as compared to 3 million tonnes the previous year.
The port earns a revenue of R100 crore at the rate of R43 per tonne of coal handled.
Stuck in transit
* As per Orissa govt’s rule, all mineral transaction must carry a storage licence and a transport licence, to check unauthorised use of the state’s natural resources
* Paradip Port Trust officials say the regulation has choked their business because they are not able to import more coal as there is no space to store new arrivals
* Paradip officials say since the imported mineral is obtained from outside the national territory, the regulation must not be applied in this case