Delhi 'blinks green' as the fastest air cargo hub among India's metros

With around 75 per cent of its air cargo getting cleared in less than 48 hours, Delhi has emerged the fastest among metros, according to the time-tracking colour dashboard recently launched by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC). In Mumbai, about a fourth of the air cargo takes more than 72 hours to get cleared, and only 45 per cent gets done in less than 48 hours, the dashboard — blinking red, amber and green — has shown.

The Indian Customs EoDB Dash (ICEDASH) is an interaction visual dashboard, enabling comparison of the time taken for import cargo clearance at various customs ports and airports. Any consignment cleared within 48 hours blinks green, up to 72 hours amber and beyond that red.

The unique ‘nudge model’, with an element of competition, has been put in place to hasten customs clearance as India aims to break into the top 50 of ‘trading across borders’ segment of the World Bank’s doing business ranking for next year. India’s overall Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) rank improved to 63 this year, a leap of 14 positions. As for the ‘trading across borders’ criterion, it improved to 68, with a jump of 12 places.

Overall, air consignments are being cleared the fastest, followed by sea, while inland containers are the slowest. Fifty-five to  60 per cent of the air cargo gets cleared in less than 48 hours. But only 21 per cent of the sea consignments and 15 per cent of the inland container consignments get cleared in that time. Also, around 60 per cent of the sea cargo takes more than 72 hours to go past customs.

Among the major sea ports, Kandla is the best performer with 34 per cent consignments cleared within 48 hours followed by Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, where 28 per cent consignments get cleared in the stipulated time.

At Calcutta and Cochin ports, over 90 per cent of the cargo takes more than 72 hours to get past.

The move is expected to help the government identify laggard ports, sectors and officers, and come up with targeted policies to improve performance. The model was presented to the World Bank as a reform for this year’s Doing Business report.

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