Most companies know that the snail-paced clearances of exports and imports at our major ports and airports can be both an operational headache as well as a financial burden. Such complaints are usually met with a volley of numbers—so many billion dollars will be invested in infrastructure in so many years.
Building new and better trade gates takes time—and India has made some progress in recent years. But, getting more out of what we have now will also help a great deal. That’s where the experience of some other countries in cutting red tape at their trade entry points is worth emulating.
A World Bank blog points to Nigeria. It currently takes 12 days to clear the import of goods into this country. The government there says it wants to bring down that number to 48 hours. Closer home, Pakistan has pushed up the proportion of cargo cleared in one day from 4% to 70%.
India, too, needs such stretch targets, to beat the container pile-ups at our ports and airports.