BHUBANESWAR : International air cargo service was relaunched at Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) here on Wednesday. The resumption of the service will boost exports from the state.
On the first day, 100 kg of cashew nuts, being exported through Kolkata airport everyday, were sent to Dubai apart from products of Jindal Steel to Sweden from BPIA.
Relaunching the service, Minister for Industries, MSME and Energy Pratap Keshari Deb said the air cargo service at Bhubaneswar airport will help local businessmen, who had to depend on other airports like Kolkata, Visakhapatnam and Chennai and reduce cost of export.
“Now the exporters and importers can run their business directly with the destination countries through BPIA and avoid delays due to various reasons. The direct service will also reduce handling fees,” he said.
The minister said Odisha has enough scope for exports of metals and minerals besides the handicraft, handloom, agriculture, horticulture, marine and pharmaceutical products. The international air cargo service has been reintroduced at a cost of Rs 2 crore with direct flight service to Singapore, Dubai and Bangkok, Deb added.
Though Odisha had been primarily focusing on mineral and metal products, export of marine and agri products, handicrafts, handlooms, chemical and allied sectors in addition to IT and ITES has shown immense growth potential in the last decade. Principal secretary of MSME department Saswat Mishra said exports will be fecilitated to Europe, Middle East and South East Asian countries in coming days. The state has vast opportunities as despite Covid pandemic, 56 per cent of transportation of goods from Odisha were made through air cargo service, he said.