To achieve 5% world share, India’s exports need to grow at 26%: Report

To achieve 5% world share, India’s exports need to grow at 26%: Report

The study designed a ‘Port Performance Index’ as an effort to benchmark the performance of all the major ports.

The Dollar Business Bureau

India’s exports must grow at an average rate of more than 26% in the next five years, if the country wants to achieve the ambitious target of 5% share in world exports, according to a study.

“However, this would require enhancing product competitiveness, which needs that the infrastructure for trade to be improved including ports infrastructure,” suggested a report ‘Port Logistics: Issues and Challenges in India’ by research firm Dun & Bradstreet.

This and several other measures, including ensuring transparency in charges collected by shipping lines and creating a common digital platform, in order to strengthen port logistics and improve trade, recommended by Dun & Bradstreet in its study has been handed over to Commerce & Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu on Monday.

“To achieve a target of 5% share in world exports, India’s exports need to grow at an average rate of over 26% for the next five years. This would require increasing its product competitiveness. Enhancing product competitiveness in the global market needs infrastructure for trade to improve, and ports are a critical part of trade infrastructure,” said the Research Firm.

The study summarises major challenges and issues for ports in India and recommended 60 policy measures to boost the sector, representing the bulk of the country’s merchandise trade.

It also designed a ‘Port Performance Index’ as an effort to benchmark the performance of all the major ports by merging qualitative perception of stakeholders with the quantitative result based data.

“A port performance index was designed for all ports under study, which has covered 13 major ports including JNPT, Vizag, Kandla, Cochin and Chennai,” the study said.

“Looking at 13 major ports, 3 ports (JNPT, Kamarajar, Vizag) have received good score; 7 ports (including Paradip, Chennai and new Mangalore) have received average score and 3 (Haldia, Kolkata and MbPT) have received poor score,” it added.

The study further suggested promotion of direct port delivery, to enhance customs clearance, direct port entry to facilitate container trade, overhauling of physical infrastructure, periodical performance audit, time frame for regulatory clearances and rationalisation of documentation.

The three key findings of the study include costs and time for key processes are unpredictable, processes and operations across the ports are not standardised or uniform, and there is an unacceptable level of variation across ports as well as within port.

Port congestion, shipping line issues and charges, customs clearance, regulatory clearance, documentation and paperwork, are the common issues across ports, the report stated.

The study comes at a time when India’s major ports have been witnessing a decent growth. During the period April to January 2017-18, the major ports have witnessed a 4.58% growth, handling 560.97 million tonnes of cargo as compared 536.41 million tonnes in the same period over a year ago, as per the Shipping Ministry.