Mr Lapsiaa shared his views on the objective behind for creating AILBIEA, current Liquid Bulk Trade trend in India, Govt’s initiatives to uplift the trade, opportunities align with the government’s call to double LNG capacity by 2020 and future plans of AILBIEA,with Rakesh Roy, Editor, Maritime World Services.
What was the objective behind in creating AILBIEA as a trade body for Liquid Bulk Trade in India and how has AILBIEA been safeguarding the interests of all the stakeholders in the value chain?
The objective behind creating AILBIEA was to synchronize and make a holistic approach in presentation of issues and concerns of liquid bulk trade with the regulatory authorities viz. Customs, Excise, Service Tax, Ports and State Governmental departments. This has helped the members since the issues are addressed in satisfactory and timely manner, and the members do not have to run to the authorities individually. Now, they have one strong voice and a face in form of the association.
What is the current scenario of Liquid Bulk Trade – edible and non-edible liquid – in India and what are the growth drivers for the same?
Imports of liquid bulk, be it Edible Oils or non-edible oils, are on the rise and will continue to dominate the import scenario in the country at least for another 10 to 15 years. This gives tremendous fillip to creation of infrastructure such as, roads, tanks farms, tankers, pipelines etc. This will be a great boon and boost for the infrastructural growth and increased activity. This is also contributing significantly to the creation of more job opportunities and open more avenues for growth in various allied sectors.
How have Govt’s initiatives like Make in India, Ease of Doing Business, Port-led Development, Sagarmala, etc helped liquid bulk trading in India at large and what are the other measures that the govt could be taking to support this Trade and increasing its contribution to the GDP.
These are path breaking initiatives being introduced by the government to give boost to the trade and to facilitate operating and procedural norms. Though, these measures are taking time in reaching their optimal potential, we are confident that in a year or two, these measures will open new vistas and be a boon to the trade and industry. Once, these new initiatives get well established and strictly enforced, then the trade and industry activity will spiral sky high, send country’s GDP to a very healthy and robust percentage.
How has the low global crude price impacted the liquid bulk business in India? As per you, how far can the govt’s call for doubling the LNG capacity by 2020, be met by the Liquid Bulk Trade?
Certainly, there has been an impact on the liquid bulk business due to the low global crude prices. This has resulted in falling prices, in the international markets, and, consequently decline in domestic prices, resulting in substantial losses to the importers. There has been a gradual slowdown in the imports, too, however, due to ever growing and increasing demand, imports continue unabated, but, at a stiff costs to the importers.
Doubling LNG capacity by 2020, will be met with success by our members, as they are already well geared up. There is growing market for LNG, and the LNG players, including the storage installations are in all preparedness to expand their capacities and create more storage space to accommodate more quantities.
What are the future plans of AILBIEA in terms of serving for the growth of Liquid Bulk Trade in India and who are your partners?
Our future plans are  to spread our wings to other ports as well and cater to players of liquid bulk imports and exports;  to consolidate our presence and standings in the Finance and Shipping Ministry. Increase the visibility of association to ensure more recognition and also more respect.