Industry body approaches Mumbai-based TAMP
An industry body has approached Mumbai-based Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP) opposing the Cochin Port Trust’s proposal to levy high lease rents from leaseholders from Willingdon Island.
In a representation to TAMP, Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry ( CCCI) said there is no scope for any increase in the Scale of Rates at the Cochin Port since it is a known fact that the rates at the Cochin Port are already on the higher side.
The TAMP was constituted in April 1997 to provide for an independent Authority to regulate all tariffs, both vessel related and cargo related, and rates for lease of properties in respect of Major Port Trusts and the private operators located there.
“Any increase in rates will only serve to divert cargo from this port to other neighbouring ports. While we strongly recommend that status quo be maintained we are of the view that the current situation actually demands a decrease in rates in order to attract more cargo to this Port,” the Chamber said.
Noting that the delays in the renewal of leases and the high lease rentals have resulted in a sense of uncertainty among the leaseholders on the Willingdon Island, it said many companies have left the Island which has seriously affected the business activities here.
“There is no justification for any increase in the lease rents given the prevailing ground realities on the Willingdon Island,” the chamber said.
It said Willingdon Island is a purpose built island and cannot be equated to other commercial centres either in Kochi or in other ports.
“Any computation on the basis of so called “real estate” potential cannot be justified as the Port’s primary activity is not real estate development,” Chamber said.
Noting that the Port is already embroiled in a financial crisis, it said the need of the hour is to attract people to the Island to set up businesses here.
“The annual revenue raised through lease/sublease rents amount to over Rs 80 crore which is a substantial contribution by us to support the Port,” it said.
“We reiterate that the lease rents and other charges on the Willingdon Island are already on the higher side and hence there is no scope for any increase in the same.”
“Any additional financial burden on the leaseholder will only serve to drive him away from here, further depleting the revenue of the Cochin Port,” Chamber said.