Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Mar 12, 2002
Corporate - Diversification
Government - States
AP Warehousing Corpn plans expansion
VISAKHAPATNAM, March 11
THE Andhra Pradesh State Warehousing Corporation (APSWC) is all set to expand its operations by moving into port areas in the State for warehousing activities both for exports and imports.
APSWC, which is a storage organisation with a 50:50 equity participation by the State Government and the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC), has decided to make a foray into the port sector as part of the Vision 2020 programme of the State Government, which envisages, among other things, making the State a "major logistics hub".
Official sources told Business Line that the Chief Minister, Mr N. Chandrbabu Babu, had evinced a keen interest in this proposal and had personally taken up the matter with the Ministry of Shipping in November last, seeking room at the Vizag port for undertaking the proposed warehousing operations.
The State Government, according to the sources, has made out the case for the expansion of APSWC's role by underscoring the significance of Andhra Pradesh as a major rice-producing State, with the distinction of having two ports Visakhapatnam and Kakinada ideally suited for exports.
It has also highlighted the strategic importance of APSWC positioning itself for "sub-serving the Visakhapatnam Port's requirements in particular, and export needs in general''.
The APSWC is all set to establish a base at Vizag port, with the latter responding favourably to the State Government's request for allotment of 10-acre land on 33-year lease period on a nomination basis.
The sources said the port had resolved to earmark two plots in its Exim Park area to enable APSWC to develop general warehousing facilities for promoting export/import of foodgrains.
The lease of port land to APSWC for construction of warehouses and other related facilities for export/import of foodgrains was subject to payment of Rs 14.47 lakh towards the base lease rent.
The port has also made it clear that other rentals would be as fixed by it and approved by the Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP) from time to time, bearing an escalation at five per cent annually on the lease rent.
Also, it will have the option to refix the base lease rent every five years.
APSWC's entry into warehousing activities in the port areas is likely to give a significant boost to export/import of foodgrains through Vizag and Kakinada ports.
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