Govt takes on Time Release Study to make trade flow hassle free

In what may be called as a first, the government of India has decided to conduct first national Time Release Study (TRS) to eliminate bottlenecks in port logistics while pacing up the delivery time.

Time Release Study is a method to measure the efficiency of goods delivery by optimising the flow process of cargo movement. In this method factor such as actual time required from arrival of goods, physical release, and cargo delivery are assessed for improvement in efficiency.

Export reliant industries and specially the MSME’s are the major expected beneficiaries said the finance ministry in a statement on Thursday. The government said it would help “greater standardization of Indian processes with comparable international standards.”

The Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, began the first ever TRS on Thursday. The study is expected to culminate on August 7.

The exercise will be institutionalized as an annual programme to be conducted in the same period every year. The government claimed that the initiative will help India climb up the ladders of “Ease of Doing Business”, particularly on the Trading Across Borders. Last year India’s ranking on the indicator improved from 146 to 80.

Previously individual customs formations had been independently conducting TRS studies at the port level.  The national TRS has taken this a step further and evolved a uniform, multi-dimensional methodology to measure the regulatory and logistics aspects of the cargo clearance process and establishes the average release time for goods.

The exercise will be conducted at the same time across 15 ports including sea, air, land and dry ports which cumulatively account for 81% of total Bills of Entries for import and 67% of Shipping Bills for export filed within India. The national TRS will establish baseline performance measurement and have standardized operations and procedures across all ports.

Based on the results of the Time Release Study, government agencies associated with cross border trade will be able to diagnose existing and potential bottlenecks which act as barriers to the free flow of trade, and take remedial actions for reducing the cargo release time. The initiative is on ground lead by the Central Board of Indirect Tax and Customs.

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