Mis­sion 2014: Get GST im­ple­mented

Cargo Talk - - Editorial -

Amidst tough times in 2013, the cargo and lo­gis­tics in­dus­try is hop­ing for bet­ter times with early signs of re­cov­ery in both do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional mar­kets. A num­ber of lead­ing com­pa­nies have al­ready an­nounced their in­vest­ment plans for this year with cau­tious op­ti­mism. In ad­di­tion to changes in the mar­ket de­vel­op­ment in the days to come, the In­dian in­dus­try also ex­pects sup­port from pol­icy-mak­ers. Im­me­di­ate im­ple­men­ta­tion of the much-awaited GST, for in­stance, may be the most sought-af­ter gift for them, un­til a prag­matic lo­gis­tics pol­icy is in place.

In­dus­try prac­ti­tion­ers also urge the gov­ern­ment to set up stan­dards and ac­cred­i­ta­tion pro­ce­dures for all firms op­er­at­ing in the in­dus­try. In ad­di­tion, the gov­ern­ment should fo­cus on the cre­ation of spe­cial tax pro­vi­sions to en­cour­age pri­vate sec­tor in­vest­ments in in­fra­struc­ture. More­over, doc­u­men­ta­tion should be com­put­erised, so that less num­ber of forms are needed at check­posts. A cen­tralised toll pol­icy and mech­a­nism is needed to en­sure uni­for­mity in the toll charges paid by truck­ers or driv­ers at var­i­ous check­posts.

How­ever, the lo­gis­tics in­dus­try it­self has to be strength­ened and or­gan­ised too. Stake­hold­ers would have to keep on in­vest­ing in new de­signs of ter­mi­nals, con­tain­ers and han­dling tech­nol­ogy with the help of pol­icy-mak­ers who need to ex­tend ben­e­fits of schemes to the in­dus­try so that mas­sive in­vest­ment en­vis­aged are utilised in the most eco­nomic and pro­duc­tive man­ner. At the same time, steps need to be taken to en­cour­age long-dis­tance hin­ter­land move­ment of con­tain­ers by rail to guard against the present trend of ma­jor­ity of con­tain­ers get­ting `stuffed’ in port town CFSs, re­sult­ing in con­ges­tion.

It is de­sir­able that the year 2014 and en­sur­ing years bring the much-needed pace to in­fra­struc­ture. The in­dus­try ex­pects that this should be one of the key pri­or­i­ties for our pol­icy-mak­ers as chal­lenges at the gate­way points have an ad­verse im­pact on the over­all lo­gis­ti­cal per­for­mance. The lo­gis­tics in­dus­try also wants to see sta­bil­ity in the for­eign cur­rency which can have an pos­i­tive im­pact on the im­port traf­fic to In­dia. There should be a long-term pol­icy vis­i­bil­ity in For­eign Di­rect In­vest­ment ( FDI) to re­gain the in­vestors’ con­fi­dence. Im­ple­men­ta­tion of sus­tain­able and longterm in­vest­ments will bring sta­bil­ity in for­eign in­vest­ments.

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