14 Nov 2011
The shipping ministry has assured that the privatization of the mechanical ore handling division of the Mormugao Port Trust in Goa would only be a last resort.
Congress MP Mr Shantaram Naik in a statement issued quoted a written assurance from Union Shipping Minister Mr GK Vasan, even as workers at the MPT the top iron ore exporting port in India have threatened agitations against the privatization.
Mr Naik quoted the minister as saying that "The Mormugao Port Trust is trying to find alternative source of funding to develop its Mechanical Ore Handling Plant by itself in the interest of the port and its employees, and that, only if it is not feasible, then the MPT will go for Public Private Partnership model, as a last resort.”
Mr Naik said that Mr Vasan has also said the MOHP at the MPT was commissioned in 1979 and as the equipments in the MOHP had already outlived its service life norm of 20 years, the ministry had taken up replacement of equipments in phases commencing in 2002.
In July this year, nearly 2,500 employees of the MPT had gone on a day long strike against what they called the selling off of the MOHP facility and fears that workers currently employed there would be rendered jobless.
Mr Lawrence Cardozo a union leader at the MPT said that "We will not hesitate to go on strike again if the privatization is pushed on us by the ministry.”
MPT authorities had argued that the ageing MOHP operations were making losses to the tune of INR 59 crore annually.