Need to cut down paperwork in logistics: BCBA

Dushyant Narayandas Mulani, President, Brihanmumbai Custom Brokers Association (BCBA) says, India is aspiring to grow to a US$5 trillion economy; it will require a different mindset of growth, which will have to be instilled in the trade and the department. Achieving this will be dependent on the tenets of transparency and predictability. The TFA articles of which India is a signatory lays down the principles of transparency and predictability, and yes, the authorities are working on it. The National Logistic Policy shows the importance that our nation is addressing it. In the custom clearance scenario, we have urged CBIC to lay down time limits for custom clearance—12 hours for shipments coming by air and 24 hours by sea. The trade will have to follow it with timely submission of the Bill of Entries and Shipping bills with customs, timely custom duty payments and the like. This kind of benchmarking will surely help creating centralized feedback and escalation mechanisms with CBIC that will help the trade and industry to intensify any issues they are facing and right from the top, CBIC has given progressive feedback towards it, and I am sure, they will be implementing it soon. The logistics sector is currently facing a lot of issues with other stakeholders. They need to embrace this doctrine of transparency and predictability and digital working in total. Lot of these stakeholders such as custodians, the airlines, and the NVOCCs, shipping lines need to come onboard and ensure that performance benchmarks and digital working are embraced in totality. Lastly, the government agencies such as FSSAI, ADC, and animal quarantine, plant quarantine must also go digital. The parallel manual paperwork needs to be stopped immediately, as it has happened in customs.