A significant improvement in the parameters of 'trading across borders' under the government's Sagarmala programme has contributed significantly to India's 23 places jump in 'ease of doing business' report by the World Bank, the government said Friday.
As per the World Bank report 2019 on ease of doing business, India has taken a huge leap of 23 ranks from 100 in 2017-18 to 77 in 2018-19.
"One of the key indices which has contributed immensely towards this growth is 'trading across borders' which shows an impressive improvement from 146th rank last year to 80th rank this year. The Ministry of Shipping has been taking initiatives to improve the parameter of 'trading across border' as 92 per cent of India's export-import trade by volume is handled at ports," the Ministry of Shipping said in a statement.
Upgradation of port infrastructure, improvement of processes, and digitisation of document submission has substantially reduced export/import cargo handling time at ports which has significantly contributed towards improving the trading across border parameter and India's impressive growth in the World Bank's report, it said.
"According to the report, under the Border Compliance Criterion relevant to the port sector the cost to export has come down from USD 382.4 to USD 251.6. Similarly, the cost to import has come down from USD 543.2 to USD 331," the statement said.
Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said: "Focused efforts at improving the export/import cargo handling at major ports have contributed to improving the ease of doing business in India and thus will help in economic growth and creating more jobs opportunities for the youth".
The statement said the government has initiated a series of steps to make India's EXIM logistics more competitive in terms of time and cost.
A series of studies to benchmark the performance of Indian major ports with their international counterparts has been undertaken and steps to increase the capacity and productivity to global standards have been initiated.
Specifically, 114 initiatives which were identified have been undertaken.
"The focus has been on development of port infrastructure and capacity enhancement, improvement in last mile connectivity and development of multimodal hubs to promote EXIM while reducing logistics cost and time. Under Sagarmala, port-led-development initiative of the Govt, 266 port modernization projects with an investment of more than Rs 1.45 lakh Crore has been identified for implementation over next 10 years," said the minister.
Eighty projects worth Rs 13,701 crore have been completed and projects worth Rs 2.39 lakh crore are under implementation.
"In order to enhance last mile connectivity, 211 road-rail projects worth Rs 2,50,907 crore have been identified under Sagarmala. Fifteen multi-modal logistic parks with an investment of Rs 3,989 will help in improving efficiency in freight movement under the programme", the minister added.
With more than 5 per cent average growth at major ports over last 4 years, the Ministry of Shipping has taken several steps to improve their operational efficiencies through policy and procedural changes and mechanisation.
The statement said that as a result, key efficiency parameters have improved considerably and the average turnaround time has reduced from 82 hours to 64 hous in 2017-18.
"The Average Output Per Ship Berth day has increased from 14,583 tonnes in 2016-17 and to 14,912 tonnes in 2017-18. The traffic at major ports increased to 6794.7 lakh tonnes during 2017-18 over 6,483.98 lakh tonnes during 2016-17," the statement said.