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NEFIT submits action plan to IWAT to develop ICD Amingaon as container transportation hub

First Published: 15th January, 2023 19:50 IST

NEFIT met senior IWAT officials and sought help to explore the river route from Pandu to Chittagong in Bangladesh via Mongla port

Concerned about the drastic drop in exports volumes (by over 62% since 2017) at the Inland Container Depot, Amingaon near Guwahati, the Northeast Federation of International Trade (NEFIT) met officials of the Inland Waterways Authority and shared a slew of measures that would help improve the exports numbers and ensure using the Depot to its full capacity while increasing the volume of trade being handled by the Depot.

At its meeting with senior officials of Inland Waterways Authority of India, the NEFIT team led by General Secretary Mrinal Hatkhowa and Working President Bijoy Phangcho, sought help from the Union Waterways ministry to provide with the vessel and technical guidance to explore the river route from Pandu to Chittagong in Bangladesh via Mongla port.

“The idea is to develop explore road, rail, and waterways and develop ICD as a milti-nodal container movement terminal,”Hatkhowa said.

The Federation submitted a suggestions to turn around the dipping exports volumes and boost container movement from ICD.

The list of suggestions included:

  1. Rationalization of CONCOR charges. It may be noted that CONCOR had reduced charges from Kolkata and Visakhapatnam to Nepal by 30 to 35 percent to stem out its competitors soon after private railway service providers were allowed to operate in that route in mid 2021. This is an indication that there is ample scope to arrive at a market driven rate.
  2. Assured movement of import and export within one week of their arrival at the Kolkata Port and stuffing at ICD Amingaon respectively.
  3. Extensive marketing initiatives to increase EXIM volumes reduce dependence on one product and to close import / export imbalance for availability of empty ISO containers at minimal cost.
    Government to ensure all PSUs give priority to ICD Amingaon for their EXIM traffic. This will give a boost to the ICD as it can give the base cargo scope for allied activities like local transportation, warehousing, customs clearance, etc. besides generating employment.
  4. Import empties to be made available to Exporters without Empty Positioning Charges. Similarly Importers are reimbursed Empty Return Charge if their container is used for export.
  5. Start Reefer Service from ICD Amingaon with Grants from concerned Ministry in line with ‘ASIDE Scheme’ to kick start horticulture and spice exports from North East India.
  6. There are roughly 80 active ICDs in India. ICD Tughlakabad handles almost a quarter of the overall volumes handled by these 80 ICDs. There should be no reason why ICD Amingaon, the only ICD in the entire North East cannot compete successfully.
  7. Engaging the best Transport & Logistics Consulting Firm in the market to do an in-depth study on the points raised above and come out with actionable points for variable integration of ICD Amingaon into the EXIM Traffic of North East India.

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