Target is to make all Integrated Check Posts gender friendly in 3 years: Aditya Mishra, Chairman, LPAI

New Delhi: Gender trade facilitation is an important aspect of the overall goal of enhancing trade between India and its neighbouring partners, and the target of Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI) is to make the land ports gender friendly in 3 years, Aditya Mishra, Chairman, LPAI, has said.

Mishra said this at a webinar on gender mainstreaming at the Integrated Check Posts (ICPs) in India. The event was hosted by the Land Port Authority of India (LPAI) and the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER). The objective of the consultative event was to gather insights on the challenges related to trade facilitation faced by women at international trading points and the measures that can be taken to address these.

Established as a statutory body under the Department of Border Management, MHA, the Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI) is entrusted with the task of building land ports on India’s borders and providing state of the art infrastructure facilities to facilitate seamless and efficient movement of cargo and passengers at the ICPs.

Nisha Taneja, professor at ICRIER, noted that this initiative by LPAI was a pioneering attempt on several counts. “While, in recent years efforts have been made in India to support and empower trade related entrepreneurship among women, trade facilitation has lagged. This consultation not only precedes any such efforts by sea and air port authorities in India but is also perhaps one of the first of its kind when compared to worldwide trends,” she said in a statement.

Taneja stated that she and her team at ICRIER have in recent years undertaken studies that have highlighted the need for gender responsive trade facilitation measures at border crossings and it was therefore extremely encouraging to see LPAI take cognizance of the issue.

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India is a signatory to the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) that is an important international framework for reducing trade costs. A National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NCTF) has been accordingly set up to facilitate implementation of the provisions. However, as pointed out in the National Trade Facilitation Action Plan (NTFAP) 2020-2023 gender mainstreaming is the “only parameter on which India has not performed as well as its regional counterparts” in the Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation organized by the United Nations. Accordingly, the NTFAP specifically recommends the promotion of “gender inclusiveness in trade” as an action point.

The webinar was supported by the FICCI Ladies Organization (FLO), Federation of Freight Forwarders’ Associations in India (FFFAI), and the Association of Multimodal Transport Operators of India (AMTOI).

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