Bangalore: In a bid to discourage hoarding, India’s Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP), which sets fees at the 12 Union government-owned ports, on Wednesday upwardly revised storage fees for sugar and pulses.
These two commodities can now be stored free of cost only for three days, after which the rates will increase exponentially. Between the fourth and 10th day, charges will be double of the storage fees levied at a particular port. From the 11th to the 20th day, the rate would be tripled. No cargo would be allowed to remain within a port after 30 days.
“The government is of the view that the storage of sugar and pulses in the port area after import should be discouraged in view of the increasing prices of these essential commodities,” TAMP chairman Brahm Dutt said in the directive.
Discouraging storage: Mumbai port. From now on, sugar and pulses can only be stored free of cost inside ports for three days. Ashesh Shah / Mint
The revised rates come into force immediately and would remain till 31 March or until further orders.
“Importers are keeping sugar inside the port waiting for better prices. We are discouraging storage inside the port area,” an official at Kandla port said on condition of anonymity. He said that there were about 16,000 tonnes of sugar lying inside Kandla port in Gujarat.
However, at least four port officials Mint spoke with said that the deterrent storage charges imposed by the government has no meaning outside of port areas.
“We can’t enforce anything outside the port area if the importers take the sugar and pulses to private warehouses,” said one of the officials.
A similar direction from the customs department was necessary to prevent hoarding of sugar and pulses inside private warehouses, said another official. All the executives declined to be named.