Port Wings News Network:
Boosting trade and making India a simple and easy place for doing business are integral part of the broader economic priorities of the Government. The Government is in the process of implementing a number of reform initiatives in this regard.
Some reforms are designed to target the hardware aspects of trade (augmenting and modernizing the hinterland logistics and infrastructure connectivity) while some others the software aspects (related to regulatory and procedural environment for trade). As a result, the broader trade and logistics ecosystem in the country has improved considerably. However, users continue to face some challenges in this space. Therefore, the Government is determined to implement more reforms to create a smooth and an efficient environment across the logistics value chain.
Given the above, the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) constituted a Logistics Development Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. Bibek Debroy, Chairman EAC-PM. The committee was tasked to assess key challenges in logistics development and associated commerce and suggest policy reforms for ease of doing trade in India. Other members of the committee included Secretaries and heads of the concerned departments/ministries such as Revenue, Commerce, Logistics, DIPP, Civil Aviation, Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, Railways, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) etc. The Committee also included Dr. Jayanta Roy, a well-known trade policy expert specializing in Trade and Logistics Facilitation.
The Committee conducted several rounds of deliberations with various stakeholders that included senior officials from the Union and State governments, industry associations, trade and logistics sector representatives etc. Based on their review and assessments, the committee prepared a comprehensive logistics and trade facilitation reform agenda. The reform agenda comprises of a number of specific policy actions covering the entire logistics value chain and: (i) is designed to fundamentally re-engineer the existing business processes of the government; (ii) is intended to facilitate an integrated “whole of the trade value chain” approach in; and (iii) proposes a new institutional framework to leverage co-operation from all stakeholders towards a common shared goal of transforming this space.
The Committee’s report is being submitted to the Government for consideration. It is hoped that implementation of the proposed agenda will push India’s share in global trade and make India one of the simplest places for doing business in the near term.