Chittagong Port Authority
Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) runs Chittagong Port, is the principal maritime port Bangladesh. Chittagong Port is recognised as lifeline of the economy of Bangladesh and so one of the biggest Key Point Installations (KPI) of the country. It is situated on the bank of the river Karnafully at a distance of about nine nautical miles from the coastline of the Bay of Bengal. The establishments of Chittagong Port have been developed on the right bank of the river Karnafully on about 2500 acres own land. During 4th century BC, Chinese, Turkish, Yemeni and Arab traders used to trade with this part of the world through the Chittagong Port. During nineth century Muslim traders from Yemen and Arab started using the port as their base port. British-India government developed Port Commissioners Act in 1887. The formal operation of the port of Chittagong started on 25 April, 1888 with the enactment of Port Commissioners Act 1887. On 1st April, 1928 the then British India government declared Chittagong Port as the Major Port. With the partition of India in 1947, the port of Chittagong was suddenly subjected to heavy pressure of more commercial activities as only port of East Pakistan. Chittagong Port Trust was formed in July, 1960. About 100 employees of Chittagong Port sacrificed their lives in a defensive war with the Pakistani invaders in ship 'SWAT' on board anchored in Chittagong Port carrying deadly weapons in March 1971. Hundreds of others working here got injured at the outset of liberation war of 1971.
After the independence of Bangladesh it was felt that more autonomy be given to the management for better administration and rapid development of the port. Hence by an Ordinance in September 1976 The Chittagong Port Authority came into being. At present, CPA is an autonomous organisation of the government under the control of the Ministry of Shipping. The Port is run by CPA Board consisted of a Chairman and not more four other members appointed by the government.
Chittagong Port is a service-oriented organisation. It handles about 92% of import and export trade of the country. Ships from more than 140 countries with different commodities visit Chittagong Port. It contributes regularly huge amount of money to the government as tax and VAT. Chittagong Port Authority paid Tk 12776 million for the fiscal years 1999-2000 to 2008-2009 as income tax and paid Tk 2600 million as' part of its surplus income for the years 1984-85 to 2008-2009 to the government. Along with paying to the government it pays around Tk 200 million per year as tax to the Chittagong City Corporation. Surplus money is spent in implementation of port development activities and paying the salary of its employees. Apart from conducting port activities and implementing port development plans the CPA provides educational, Medical, cultural and sports services to its employees and common people of the region. The authority runs a 150-bed hospital, 2 high schools, 5 primary schools, Mass education centre, Moktabs, Madrashas, Mosques and Temples in which employees of the authority and common people of the area get respective services free of cost. Chittagong Port maintains a rich website. For detail information this site (www.cpa.gov.bd) can be visited. [RU Ahmed]