India: PM Boosts Action on Vallarpadam Trans-Shipment Terminal

The Prime Minister has directed different departments to ensure that procedural issues do not come in the way of India’s first International Container Transshipment Terminal (ICTT) at Vallarpadam (Cochi) becoming a global cargo hub.

Set up with a cost of more than Rs 1600 crores, the Vallarpadam container facility for transshipment is the first of its kind in the country. Its commencement in right earnest will reduce the number of days taken to export or import consignments by 7 days and reduce the transportation cost of each container by $300(US) giving a boost to international Indian trade making it more competitive. Currently Indian importers and exporters use Colombo, Salalah, Singapore and Dubai hubs for shipments adding to their costs.

In a meeting chaired by Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary and attended by officials from the departments of Revenue, Commerce and Shipping, many inter departmental issues were sought to be ironed out.

It was felt that if a user friendly environment is provided then the transshipment cargo is likely to go up to over 80% of the total as against only 7% currently. Following decisions were taken at the meeting:

-Department of Commerce and Ministry of Shipping would make all possible efforts to ensure that the first Container Freight Station (CFS) is operational by 1st March 2012 and other 3 proposed CFSs are commissioned shortly after that. Customs Department will also ensure necessary arrangements.

-Department of Revenue will prepare within two weeks a proposal to provide customs officers to work on deputation to the SEZ.

Dredging Today Staff, February 2, 2012;

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