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.