A truck carrying a load of goods from Chennai is likely to be halted at 73 checkpoints before it reaches New Delhi, according to a story in Tuesday’s edition of Mint. This is the main reason why a trip that should take three days actually takes 10 days.
It is shocking that even as the government is busy bringing down trade barriers with the rest of the world, the free flow of goods within the country is still hindered by the inspector raj and its attendant corruption.
The lack of a truly national common market for goods imposes several costs on companies. They have to deal with higher logistics costs. Truck operators can make fewer trips a month, thus leading to lower asset turnover and profits.
Though less evident, the macro costs are even more serious. Economies grow when there are few trade barriers—between nations and between regions. The slow progress of trucks shows how badly we need the free movement of goods within India.