Rajiv Jalota, Chairman, Mumbai Port Authority, has been given the additional charge of MD, India Ports Global.

The government has removed HK Joshi, chairperson and managing director of Shipping Corporation of India Ltd (SCI), from the additional charge of MD of India Ports Global Ltd, the State-owned entity tasked with developing and running the strategically important and India-funded Chabahar port in Iran.

Rajiv Jalota, Chairman, Mumbai Port Authority, has been given the additional charge of MD, India Ports Global, according to an office order issued by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways on January 21.

Unmesh Sharad Wagh, Deputy Chairman of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority, has been assigned the additional charge of Director (Operations) at India Ports Global, a separate order issued by the ministry, said.

India Ports Global has been functioning without a full-time MD since September 2020. Joshi had been given the additional charge since then.

Captain Alok Mishra, a private sector executive picked by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) last year to take up the position, declined to accept the job. Mishra is currently the Head Operations at Gateway Terminals India Pvt Ltd (GTI), one of the five container handling facilities operating at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority.

Delayed by 4 years

India’s plan to erect four new rail mounted quay cranes (RMQCs) at Chabahar port has been delayed by at least four years as crane makers stayed away from participating in a tender due to sanctions imposed on Iran, forcing India Ports Global to extend the bid deadline 23 times, since it was issued in September 2020.

Further, the country’s external lending arm is yet to disburse a $150 million line of credit to Iran for developing the port.

In February 2016, the Union Cabinet had cleared the $150-million loan to Iran through EXIM Bank, but the lender is said to be “reluctant” to disburse the funds citing problems associated with the US sanctions on Iran.

India Ports Global and Aria Banader Iranian Port & Marine Services Company (ABI) of Iran signed a deal in May 2016 to equip and operate the container and multi-purpose terminals at Shahid Beheshti – Chabahar Port Phase-I with a capital investment of $85.21 million and annual revenue expenditure of $22.95 million on a 10-year lease. Cargo revenues collected will be shared by India and Iran as per an agreed formula.

The takeover of Afghanistan by Taliban has become an added concern for India.

Source : The Hindu Businessline