Andhra Pradesh, which is ranked number 1 in Ease of Doing Business in the country, is set to become a pioneer by bringing port-related services also under the EDB ambit through a new initiative called SMARTPORT. SMARTPORT is an online platform launched on Friday as part of implementing the Ease of Doing Business Reforms related to trade and export promotion in all ports in the state.
SMARTPORT will be covered under the Public Service Delivery Guarantee Act and tracked through a single-desk portal to bring in transparency and accountability and establish a corruption-free environment in port-related services, state Industries and Infrastructure Principal Secretary Rajat Bhargava said.
We have identified several deficiencies in port-related (online) services like lack of defined timelines for service processes or standard operating procedures.
This has been causing delay in customer service and affecting operational efficiency, Bhargava told PTI.
There were many deficiencies in the offline services too, mostly because of manual operations.
During a recent review meeting on the port sector, Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy asked the Industries, Infrastructure and Investments Department, which handles the ports subject, to make the processes simpler and transparent not only to eliminate corruption but also enhance customer satisfaction.
Accordingly, the SMARTPORT initiative has been devised as part of the EDB Reforms, making Andhra Pradesh the first state in the country to do so.
SMARTPORT will enable online services like request for entry of vessels into Indian waters, furnishing cargo declaration, request for entry certificate of vessels, furnishing import/export parameters and request for a final clearance certificate.
It will also facilitate registration, renewal of an agency or firm, payment of offshore support vessel charges, payments for drawl of seawater, pipeline charges, barge registration, renewal or change of ownership and fishing harbour permission.
All this will ensure hassle-free, transparent, accountable and speedy service delivery in the ports (including those under public-private partnership initiative) and augment trade and export promotion in the state, Bhargava said.