Despite cargo congestion problems in Chennai port, the state customs seaport revenues are expected to grow at around 20 per cent to meet the target of around Rs 27,005 crore for the current financial year, as against Rs 22,000 crore last year, according to a senior official from the Chennai Customs Office.
Speaking to reporters after an open house discussion with the Chennai Custom House Agents Association, Mala Srivastava, chief commissioner of Chennai Customs, said, The congestion has not affected our revenue growth rate. We expect to continue the growth rate during the fiscal year.
According to reports, the port is facing cargo congestion issues in its two private terminals, affecting traders for the past several months. While the congestion has not affected the revenues, there is some slowdown in the growth, which is part of the global phenomenon of financial slowdown. However, the target is well within the reach to be achieved, she added.
The customs office is also planning to install a mega container scanner at the port, in order to increase efficiency in checking the containers in the port. The initiative is aimed at complying with the international requirements. This would also help the port to increase its role in the national security measures, Srivastava said.
The system has already been installed and is under operation at Nhava Sheva (Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, Navi Mumbai) for the last 10 years, Srivastava said, adding that around 10-12 per cent containers were expected to be scanned through the system.
The enforcement of self assessment of consignment documents by importers, exporters and agents, instead of assessment by the officials, has made the clearance of import and export cargo quicker. This enabled the office to increase assistance through the risk management system (RMS) facilitation, she said.