There is no question of closure of state-owned Dredging Corporation of India (DCI) as three major ports, including Visakhapatnam Port, plan to pick up government stake in the company, Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said.
“At the department level, we have taken a decision. The three major ports are now ready to acquire DCI. We have already submitted cabinet note for approval of the cabinet,” he said.
Besides Visakhapatnam, he said Paradeep Port and New Mangalore Port will buy stakes in the company.
There is also plan to restructure the company so that professionally it becomes strong, so that it can take up good jobs not only in India but abroad also, the minister said.
“So, the question does not arise about the closure of Dredging Corporation of India,” he outlined.
Currently, the government holds 73 per cent stake in the company.
The sale could bring around Rs 1,400 crore to the exchequer.
The company is under the administrative control of the Shipping Ministry. It is involved in maintenance dredging, capital dredging, beach nourishment, land reclamation, shallow water dredging, project management consultancy and marine construction.
A core group of secretaries on disinvestment, headed by the Cabinet Secretary, had approved the sale of DCI.
The government think-tank Niti Aayog too had favoured disinvestment.
Gadkari further said the ministry is using the services of all IITs for performance improvement of ports in the country.
Besides, he said the government has taken decision on rationalisation of storage charges.
“All major ports are advised to take up the model of Chennai to avail railway freight concession,” he said.