Indefinite stir against port privatisation

Against the proposal of corporatisation of 12 major ports, five federations functioning in the major ports of the country have called for an indefinite strike across the nation from March 9.

Briefing reporters, on Thursday, INTUC State president N M Adyanthaya said though the strike had been postponed from March 4 after the suggestion of Central Labour Commissioner, who has asked leaders to submit their opinion or suggestion, federations won’t change their stand. This is an attempt to sell port lands to corporate. Earlier, Vajpayee government had introduced a Bill to amend the Major Port Trust Act, but it failed because lawmakers were divided on the issue.

These 12 ports together manage 58 per cent of India’s external trade shipped by sea. All ports are in profit without any government support. Labour strength has been decreased from three lakh to 60 to 65,000. There is no reason for the privatisation, he claimed.
People can question

NMPSA (HMS) General Secretary P Sudhakar Kamath said that 12 major ports together have 2.6 lakh acres of land, including 2,350 acres of New Mangalore Port Trust. He doubted that more than the development of the ports, the government wanted to transfer lots of township land to corporate companies. It may be an influence of land mafia.

This move is also a threat to the national security, he said. Meanwhile, he said as the government had acquired thousands of acres of land from public for ports, people can question privatisation of land in court. AITUC General Secretary V P Ashirvad, INTUC Working President Rakesh Malli, NMPSA (HMS) President Ramesh Poojary were also president.
DH News Service

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