De­vel­op­ment is­sues, new poli­cies needed

Cargo Talk - - Coverstory -

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.

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