India: India to regulate cargo charges

The Indian government looks set to regulate transport of cargo by air, a senior commerce ministry official told a meeting of representatives from trade and cargo associations recently. Cargo services at airports have been included in the draft Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India Bill, 2007, R. Gopalan, additional secretary, commerce ministry, said in Chennai […]


The Indian government looks set to regulate transport of cargo by air, a senior commerce ministry official told a meeting of representatives from trade and cargo associations recently.

Cargo services at airports have been included in the draft Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India Bill, 2007, R. Gopalan, additional secretary, commerce ministry, said in Chennai recently, according to Indian media reports.

In the initial draft Bill, cleared by the Union cabinet in May 2007 for introduction in Parliament, the authority was meant to fix and approve tariffs for aeronautical services, apart from monitoring pre-set performance standards at the country’s airports, but cargo activities were not included.

"We want cargo services also to be brought under the ambit of the proposed Airports Economic Regulatory Authority Bill," said J. Krishnan, vice-president of the Air Cargo Agents Association of India. "Otherwise, anybody can charge anything and get away with it."

Trade bodies had sought the inclusion of cargo activities in the proposed legislation, which is modelled on a UK regulatory system where aeronautical services do not cover cargo and related activities.

Cargo transported by air accounts for about 5 per cent of India’s total external trade by volume, and 35 per cent in terms of value, said an official with the Federation of Indian Export Organisations.

Typically, airport operators earn about 35 per cent of their revenues from cargo services, while the majority 65 per cent comes from passengers. "We want all airport operators, including the Airports Authority of India and private airport operators that provide cargo services, to be regulated," said Krishnan.