Union Commerce Ministry plans model manual for ports

In a bid to usher in transparency and ensure logistics efficiency of ports and airports, the Union Commerce Ministry is likely to come out with a model handbook to deal with the process and documentation in ports, according to Pawan Kumar Agarwal, Special Secretary of Logistics, Ministry of Commerce.

Based on this model handbook, the ports will then develop a handbook, said Agarwal while addressing a seminar on EXIM Trade in New Normal organised by Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Friday.

He said that a standardized manual for all the ports could not be prepared as there are variations in operations of ports across the country.

He said the model will be developed by port authorities along with other stakeholders and okayed by the logistics division.

“There will be a third party audit of the handbooks to ensure it is being implemented,” said Agarwal who has sought feedback from the industry on the feasibility of such a process.

Stressing on the need for going digital, he said the exchange of documents is being done manually in ports and 30 percent of the documents are redundant.

“They serve no purpose and one-third of documents are submitted more than once,” said Agarwal.

This also comes when the shipping ministry has sought the intervention of the commerce ministry for issuing advisory on the recognition of electronic trading of documents instead of “manual trade documentation” still required by many departments and financial institutions.

New standards

Based on this model handbook, the ports will then develop their own handbook, says Pawan Kumar Agarwal, Special Secretary of Logistics, Ministry of Commerce. He said that a standardised manual for all the ports could not be prepared as there are variations in operations of ports across the country.