An Indian High Court of Appeals temporarily set aside tariff reductions ordered by port regulator Tariff Authority for Major Ports at the APM Terminals and DP World facilities in the Port of Nhava Sheva (Jawaharlal Nehru).
The interim court stay came in response to petitions filed by the private terminal operators, challenging a 44.3 percent reduction at APM’s Gateway Terminals India and a 27.9 percent cut at DP World’s Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal. The price reductions notified early this year were slated to remain in force until December 2014.
“We can continue billing customers at old rates until the matter is finally decided by the court,” an APM Mumbai official said.
TAMP, which fixes tariffs for all major state-owned ports, lowered service rates at GTI and NSICT as the terminal authorities requested increases, of 8.72 percent and 37.5 percent, respectively, over previously-approved rates.
The port regulator in its rulings said the existing rate scales required a downward revision in light of projected surplus income, and rejected submissions filed by the terminal operators. “In view of the revenue surplus position even at the existing level of tariff after adjusting all admissible estimated costs and permissible return, no case emerges for granting any increase in tariff. There is, in fact, a strong case to effect a reduction in the existing level of rates,” TAMP said in its ruling on GTI’s application.
The private operators argued that any reduction in current rates would make their operations commercially unviable.
Nhava Sheva, India’s largest container gateway, operates three container-handling facilities, including the state-owned Jawaharlal Nehru Container Terminal. The port handled a record 4.32 million 20-foot equivalent units in fiscal 2011-12, which ended March 31, up from 4.27 million TEUs the previous year.