MUMBAI: AILBIEA (All India Liquid Bulk Importers and Exporters Association) is India’s most respected, progressive and highly recognised trade body committed in addressing the challenges facing the Liquid Bulk Trade (crude and related mineral oil, vegetable oil, industrial oil, chemicals, petro-chemicals, ethanol, etc.) in India celebrated its 16th Anniversary on 6th April 2018 at the Hotel Trident, Nariman Point.
Senior officials from the Customs Department (Chief Commissioner and Principal Commissioner), Port Officials, top corporate houses engaged in liquid bulk trade, noted Industrialists including Mr. Nadir Godrej, Godrej Industries Ltd and a large gathering of stakeholders in the liquid bulk business gathered under the auspices of AILBIEA to discuss various challenges confronting the trade and to brainstorm strategies for future growth.
Highlighting the strong positive correlation between economic growth and commodity consumption, AILBIEA Advisor, senior journalist and agribusiness and commodities market specialist Mr. G. Chandrashekhar asserted that the Country’s consumption of liquid bulk cargoes (crude oil, vegetable oil, chemicals, biofuels and so on) is set to expand because of strong GDP growth.
In his welcome address, AILBIEA President, Mr. Jayyannt Lapsiaa referred to some of the recent achievements of the association with respect to addressing the operational issues faced by importers and exporters. He urged the revenue authorities to trust the members of the association who were generally known to uphold ethical standards.
He also expressed optimism that the Country’s liquid bulk trade covering crude oil, vegetable oil, chemicals and others will continue to expand in the wake of strong GDP growth and demand.
Mr. Jayyannt Lapsiaa stressed on “The need of infusing more facilitation by reducing stress and anxiety of reputed and compliant importers and exporters by ensuring that DRI, among the Country’s premier intelligence agencies held in high esteem, is kept away from classification and interpretative issues. On the contrary, DRI should focus more on Smuggling, counterfeit notes, and issues of critical importance concerning the security”. The DRI offices from all over the Country were summoning importers and exporters for imports/exports made from either Mumbai or JNPT Ports.
Stating that such summoning defied logic and the importers & exporters are put to utterly avoidable hardship like travel to far-off cities with all documents, incurring huge expenses by way of travel and stay, in addition to valuable time.
“It also undermined the presence of Special Intelligence and Investigation [SIIB] wing of Customs and also the local DRI offices”, he said. Whilst appreciating the tremendous work done by DRI, Mr. Jayyannt Lapsiaa reiterated that if “Ease of Doing Business” had to succeed in true sense of the term in letter and spirit, DRI should be kept out of interpretative and classification issues, as of now, at least for all AEO status holders. And, also the attitude of DRI Officers should undergo radical change, in treating the genuine importers and exporters with utmost dignity and humility and not treat as convicts.
Mr. Jayyannt Lapsiaa added that the importers/exporters needed to be graded / ranked based on their compliance and in following ethical business practises. He said that it was imperative for the Importers/Exporters to be serious about the knowledge of Customs initiatives, laws, notification etc. and, also, in their appointing qualified and reputed vendors as against going for L1 tender systems and giving away their clearances to unqualified and tainted vendors, to cut costs. “This”, he said, “vitiated the environment and resulted in host of unethical practises flourishing”.
Dignitaries from the revenue side who shared their views with the delegates included Mr. Rajiv Tandon, Chief Commissioner of Customs, Mumbai and Mr. S.K. Das, Principal Commissioner of Customs, Mumbai. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Nadir Godrej, Managing Director, Godrej Industries Ltd and co-chaired by Mr. Rupesh Agarwal Director-Procurement South Asia, Hindustan Unilever Ltd.
The Chief Commissioner Customs, Mumbai, Mr. Rajiv Tandon, highlighted the various initiatives of his department to promote, facilitate and expedite clearance. This included deferred payment of customs duty and the Authorized Economic Operator Scheme. He also referred to the proactive role of AILBIEA, particularly that of the President Mr. Jayyannt Lapsiaa, in working closely with the department.
The Principal Commissioner of Customs Mr. S.K. Das spoke on the various initiatives undertaken by Customs department.
He complimented AILBIEA for the proactive role and also their support in promoting AEO scheme amongst their members.
Mr. Rupesh Agarwal, complimented AILBIEA and also assured the Customs Commissioners of the Trade coming much closer to the department’s call on various issues and also to closely interact with the department.
Mr. Raj Chandaria, Managing Director, Aegis Logistics Ltd. spoke about the high standards set by Aegis in their operations at various installations, spread over five ports. “Plans were on anvil to expand the presence in more ports”, he added.
Mr. Anil Yendluri, CEO and Director, Krishnapatnam Port Co. Ltd. gave an overall view of the Port, giving details of the State of the Art infrastructure and other salient features of the port.
Earlier, the highlight of the meeting was the conferment of “AILBIEA LIFE TIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD” on Mr. Nandlal Chawla, Managing Director, AAK Kamani Pvt. Ltd. The honours were done by Mr. Rajiv Tandon, Chief Commissioner of Customs, Mumbai and Mr. S.K. Das, Principal Commissioner of Customs, Mumbai by presenting a silver lamp and a citation. Mr Nadir Godrej, M.D. Godrej Industries felicitated Mr. Nadlal Chawla with a colourful shawl.