Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, on Tuesday, wrote to nine chief ministers, asking them to oppose the new draft Indian Ports Bill 2021. He said the bill will have adverse implications on the management of minor ports and reduce the state government’s autonomy in the port’s regulation and management.
In a letter to his counterparts in Gujarat, Goa, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and the Union territory of Puducherry, Stalin sought support in opposing the bill and joint action to prevent any move to dilute the powers already vested with the states. Arguing that under the current system, ports have seen good development, he said the state governments will not have any major role if the bill is passed. “Many powers currently exercised by state governments would be taken over by the Union government. Therefore, I propose that all the coastal states and Union territories should express their objection to this new draft Indian Ports Bill 2021 and take joint action to prevent any move to dilute the powers already vested with the states,” Stalin said in his letter.
The letter to the chief ministers of coastal states and Union territories comes at a time when the Union ministry of ports and shipping is all set to hold a meeting with the maritime state development council (MSDC) and state ministers on Thursday to discuss the bill.
This is the second time that Stalin has penned letters to his counterparts in other states seeking support, after taking charge as chief minister on may 7. Earlier, he wrote to 12 chief ministers of the non-BJP ruled states on government of India’s vaccination policy and sought their support in demanding moratorium on loans by small and medium enterprises.
Stalin, since his taking over, has been particular that the Union government doesn’t breach the state rights and has been harping on federalism.
On Tuesday again, Stalin reiterated his opposition to the Modi government’s farm laws and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Speaking during a debate in the state assembly, the chief minister said the state government will pass resolutions against the Centre’s farm laws and the CAA in the budget session of the state assembly.