The Indian Government has agreed to sell a 73.44% stake in the Dredging Corporation of India (DCI) to a consortium of four state-owned ports, including Visakhapatnam Port Trust, Paradip Port Trust, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust and Kandla Port Trust. The move reverses a previous decision by Cabinet to privatise the dredging contractor, an option which was being strenuously opposed by the company’s staff.
Local analysts suggest the Government was, in any case, struggling to find private companies interested in buying the business and so found the option of purchase through the four state-owned port trusts ‘the safest bet’. It also gives the four ports the chance to invest and improve the performance of DCI which has been criticisedin the past. Visakhapatnam port will lead the consortium, a Ministry of Shipping statement confirmed.