Fin­gers Crossed

Cargo Talk - - Report -

It’s time to look for­ward to a new bud­get, one that will set the tone for the growth of the coun­try over the next year. Of course, the numero uno de­mands from the cargo and lo­gis­tics sec­tor are award­ing in­dus­try sta­tus, im­ple­men­ta­tion of GST, sin­gle win­dow clear­ances, 100 per cent EDI and guide­lines to bring down the trans­porta­tion costs. The in­dus­try has high hopes from the up­com­ing bud­get as well as the re­cent ‘Make in In­dia’ cam­paign.

The gov­ern­ment has ex­tended the 24x7 cus­toms clear­ance fa­cil­i­ties to 13 more air­ports and 14 sea ports in re­spect to spec­i­fied im­port and ex­port goods with ef­fect from De­cem­ber 31, 2014 to fa­cil­i­tate trade and re­duce trans­ac­tion cost. Such steps go a long way to in­fuse con­fi­dence in in­dus­try play­ers as well as con­vince stake­hold­ers about the gov­ern­ment’s com­mit­ment to re­mov­ing bot­tle­necks.

With the sim­i­lar aim, the Air­ports Author­ity of In­dia (AAI) is ready to fi­nalise a pri­vate agency for man­age­ment and op­er­a­tion of the do­mes­tic air cargo ter­mi­nal at Visakha­p­at­nam Air­port by Fe­bru­ary. This is not only ex­pected to pro­vide a shot in the arm to air cargo move­ment but also bring ex­per­tise and tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ment in air cargo op­er­a­tions. On the other hand, Ex­press In­dus­try Coun­cil of In­dia has called for with­drawal of Fuel Sur­charge (FSC) levied by do­mes­tic air­lines sub­se­quent to the fall in global crude oil prices by nearly 35 per cent.

In this is­sue, we have fo­cused on as­pects that im­pede the cold chain in­fra­struc­ture. In this re­gard, while the in­dus­try is ap­pre­cia­tive of the gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to set up the NCCD (Na­tional Cen­ter for Cold Chain Devel­op­ment), there is also a de­mand for skilled work­force and adop­tion of new tech­nol­ogy to en­hance in­vest­ment.

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