Development issues, new policies needed
goods, which in pre-liberalisation era was largely dominated by the foreigners. Once the control is lost, it will be extremely hard to regain it,” explains Bhatnagar.
As president of AMTOI, Kele pointed out issues that need to be considered: • Lack of legislation, we have recommended that domestic multimodal and coastal shipping be covered under MMTG Act, 1993. Service tax for domestic multimodal is charged in full considering it to be a composite service. The liability of a domestic multimodal carrier needs to be defined as currently they are covered by different laws pertaining to road, rail, sea and inland waterways. • •
Other than infrastructural problems, Sachdeva emphasised on developing appropriate ports to handle larger shipping vessels. “We also need to have an efficient hub and feeder operations along the coastline. This could further compliment with development of coastal shipping and inland waterways along with further simplified customs procedures,” he added.
“Capacity building, terminal operations, IT infrastructure and lack of skilled manpower are the other challenges as of now which need to be taken care of apart from infrastructure challenges,” feels Jayakumar. “Road and port infrastructure in the country is still not comparable to international standards. Another area of concern is the technology which can make complex logistics processes easier and faster to simplify and quicken documentation has not been adopted by our government. We need to make the day-to-day transactions smoother and efficient. Even though the government envisions this, it has been rather tardy, in translating these into enablers of various business sectors, logistics being a part of them,” elucidates Martin.
Talking about the role of IT, Gehaney informs, “In the context of undertaking multimodal transport, attempts are being made to automate the entire supply chain. For shipments arriving in India, it starts with filing of manifests, then movement of goods between different custom bonded areas including the port CY, CFSs, and ICDs and then the final customs clearance before delivery. Conversely for shipments going out of India, it starts with customs clearance at the closest proximity to the shippers manufacturing facility or the warehouse till the time it exits through gateway port using various modes of transport and bonded facilities. In order to automate the entire process, the Indian government has established Indian Customs EDI System (ICES), which is under the Central Board for Excise and Customs (CBEC), Ministry of Commerce.”
“Apart from the ICSE, various shipping lines, airlines, CFS and ICD operators and all other entities have their own e-commerce portals through which the users can transact with the service providers seamlessly. The Reserve Bank of India has also introduced Real Time Guaranteed Settlement (RTGS) and National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT) Systems, which have greatly shortened the money settlement cycle.
All these initiatives have helped to bring about substantial reduction in transaction time and costs thereby enabling smoother multimodal transport within India,” he added.