Aneel Gamb­hir Chief Fi­nan­cial Of­fi­cer Blue Dart

Cargo Talk - - Budget -

Post the im­ple­men­ta­tion of Goods and Ser­vices Tax (GST) in July 2017 and the in­dus­try be­ing ac­corded with an in­fra­struc­ture sta­tus in Novem­ber 2017, this will be the first Union Bud­get and there­fore we’re ex­pect­ing to see high rel­e­vance and more sec­tor spe­cific poli­cies. Though in­ter­state move­ment of goods will be­come eas­ier with re­duced pro­ce­dures and re­stric­tions at state bor­ders, there is a lot of clar­ity needed to en­sure a smooth process. With the dis­man­tling of check posts at state bor­ders and the im­ple­men­ta­tion of e-way bill in the next few weeks, we are ex­pect­ing that it will bring about a pos­i­tive im­pact on tran­sit times and re­lief from the com­plex state­based tax struc­tures. We are hop­ing that the gov­ern­ment con­sid­ers Avi­a­tion Tur­bine Fuel (ATF) un­der the am­bit of GST. For now, ex­cise/ VAT paid on these prod­ucts are not avail­able as in­put credit. Un­der the Ser­vice Tax regime, in­put credit was avail­able for the ex­cise paid on ATF. This had a neg­a­tive im­pact on lo­gis­tics costs.

In 2017-18, the gov­ern­ment ini­ti­ated sev­eral pub­lic-pri­vate in­fra­struc­ture projects with ma­jor play­ers, which have led to faster ex­e­cu­tion, cre­ation of a sta­ble ecosys­tem, a boost to the job mar­ket and the econ­omy. Presently, the In­dian express in­dus­try is wit­ness­ing de­vel­op­ment and ex­pan­sion of its ex­ist­ing in­fra­struc­ture, emer­gence of e-com­merce spe­cific lo­gis­tics solutions, has a strong fo­cus on man­u­fac­tur­ing. But it also has a large pres­ence of un­or­gan­ised ser­vice providers. Eco­nomic re­forms, trade co-op­er­a­tion, im­proved trans­porta­tion in­fra­struc­ture and in­dus­trial growth is ush­er­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for the lo­gis­tics ser­vice providers (LSPs) in In­dia.

How­ever, In­dia lacks the avail­abil­ity of world-class cargo tran­sit hubs, which has re­sulted in busi­ness shift­ing to other neigh­bour­ing coun­tries. De­vel­op­ment of ded­i­cated freight cor­ri­dors for both rail and road trans­port, which can pro­vide bet­ter multi-modal trans­port (con­nect­ing air­ports) is yet to be con­cep­tu­alised in the coun­try. This should be par­tially ad­dressed by the re­cently an­nounced in­fra­struc­ture pro­ject Bharat­mala, con­nect­ing 550 dis­tricts to the Na­tional High­way and Sa­gar­mala that aims to de-con­gest ma­jor ports as well as com­mis­sion at least six new mega ports.

The in­dus­try an­tic­i­pates more schemes un­der ‘Make in In­dia’, ‘Skill In­dia’, and ‘Dig­i­tal In­dia’ ini­tia­tives, which would help in the boost of the up­stream and down­stream eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties. Ac­cord­ing to a re­port by Mor­gan Stan­ley, In­dia’s econ­omy is ex­pected to grow by more than 10 per cent an­nu­ally and touch US$6 tril­lion by 2026-27.

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