Trade facilitation: Better than deemed

India could move up further in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings, with a recent study by Jawaharlal Nehru Custom House pointing to steady improvement in trade facilitation(सुविधा सेवा/सहूलियत).The time release study (TRS) 2018 shows that the average time taken for clearing import consignments(विदेश से आनेवाला माल/खेप) declined to around 144 hours in 2018 compared to 183 hours in 2017. This is welcome, but the target proposed in the National Trade Facilitation Action Plan is 72 hours. The actual release time is at variance(परिवर्तन/मतभेद/फ़र्क) with the survey by the World Bank that ranked India poorly in the parameter of “trading across borders”.In the case of auto components imported from South Korea, for example, the World Bank’s assessment of release time is about 267 hours, whereas the TRS reveals(प्रकट करना/प्रत्यक्ष करना)that it is less than half (about 126.5 hours).

The average time taken to clear export consignment is about 84 hours, against the target of 48 hours. Efficient(कार्य-कुशल/योग्य) cargo clearance will cut costs, and make our exports competitive(प्रतियोगी/प्रतियोगितात्मक). However, the study shows that cargo clearance for specific commodities, say, imported food items that include perishables(खराब होने) takes much longer (247 hours) against the average release time of 144 hours. Blame the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s (FSSAI) cumbersome(बोझिल/कष्टकर) procedures. This must change.Building food-testing facilities close to the ports would help. Similarly, trade facilitation must see physical inspection(जांच/निरीक्षण), say, of food imports, give way to electronic filings and risk-based physical checks.The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust collects about 21% of India’s customs revenue. Upgrading infrastructure such as a centralised parking plaza for the terminals and container scanning will help in faster clearances. Traders can help, with timely and accurate filing.



Important Vocabulary

Synonyms: aggressive, ambitious, competing, cutthroat, vying
Antonyms: noncompetitive, unambitious

2.Consignments(विदेश से आनेवाला माल/खेप)
Synonyms:distribution, assignment, committal, dispatch, relegation
Antonyms: holding, keeping, retention

3.Reveals(प्रकट करना/
Synonyms: acknowledge, admit, affirm, announce, concede
Antonyms: conceal, contradict, deny, disavow, dispute

Synonyms: bulky, burdensome, embarrassing, heavy, inconvenient
Antonyms: aid, ingairy, convenient, easy, fun

Synonyms: analysis, checkup, inquiry, investigation, probe
Antonyms: ignorance, neglect

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