Delegates of the Nepal Scoping Mission met with Mr Vinit Kumar, Chairman, Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT), last week. Welcoming the delegation on behalf of the Port Trust, Mr Kumar highlighted that the association of Kolkata Port Trust and Nepal trade was historic and that the combined annual growth rate of Nepal trade through Kolkata Port was 23 per cent in the last five years. This meant that the trade volume has doubled during the period, Mr Kumar said.

The Chairman also highlighted that the scope of strengthening this association was still higher and the constraints on both sides have to be understood and mitigated.

The Chairman’s speech was followed by a presentation by Traffic Manager, Mr Himanshu Shekhar, where he gave an overview of KoPT, volume of the Nepal trade which was 2.4 million tonnes through KoPT, and the potential through inland waterways transport (IWT).

Mr Shekhar noted that the trade through IWT to Nepal had huge potential and could be used as an effective means to decongest the road/rail movement from India to Nepal. The presentation also covered various benefits and incentives extended to the Nepal cargo by KoPT and also the challenges in cargo movement in the present system.

The Nepalese delegation thanked KoPT for its insightful information on the Nepal trade. They opined that the IWT front for cargo movement to Nepal was a new mode of transport for them and they actively sought KoPT’s guidance and assistance in exploring this avenue.

The members expressed optimism in the efforts by both the parties and their respective governments that are committed to strengthening the trade between the two countries. The delegation agreed that appropriate mechanisms and authorities have to be established in this regard and the processes and documentation procedures needed to be worked out.

Mr Kumar suggested that thrust had to be given to simplified and electronically transmitted documentation to the extent possible.

Mr S. B. Shukla, Member Traffic, IWAI, gave a status report on the various IWAI terminals such as Kalughat and Sahibganj that could potentially cater to the Nepal IWT cargo movement from India, said a release.


Posted By Exim News Service.