'Slowdown' in air cargo hits trade badly

Agents say that the air customs officers have been \'reluctant and non-compliant\' to clear the export and import cargo after they were called for an investigation on July 18.

Published: 26th July 2013 07:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th July 2013 08:09 AM   |  A+A-


Cargo movement at the Chennai Airport has been sluggish for almost a year now, but things have become particularly bad over the last week, prompting trade bodies like South Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to write to the Revenue Department.

According to agents who belong to the Chennai Customs House Agents Association, things have gone from “bad to worse” after air customs officers were called for an investigation on July 18, after which they have been “reluctant and non-compliant” to clear the export and import cargo lying there. Cargo movement in May was down by 9% (international cargo) and 11% (domestic), signifying a bad trend for the industry.

Airport sources have revealed that the customs personnel are resentful of the fact that their officials were allegedly called for an inquiry by the CBI for clearing a consignment of chemicals sans proper documentation. This has reportedly been done on a direction from the High Court, though customs officials were reluctant to confirm the same. “There is a lot of cargo that needs to be cleared and we are working with the limited resources we have,” said an official.

Agents have listed frequent strikes, malfunctions with the Indian Customs Electronic Data Interchange System and general apathy of officials as other reasons for the cargo pile-up.

A SICCI communique lambasted the attitude of officials as “non-cooperative” and said that they were dragging their feet to clear even routine paperwork.

Stay up to date on all the latest Chennai news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp