The Indian government has warmed up to the use of blockchain technology to streamline operations and services. Its latest experiment has been in the area of domestic trade.
On Oct. 15, the central board of indirect taxes and customs under the country’s finance ministry launched a pilot electronic cargo tracking system (ECTS) project based on blockchain technology. This aims to achieve secure documentation and GPS-based tracking of containers.
The test run is being carried out at the Inland Container Depot (ICD) of the Tughlakabad Import Commissionerate, which accounts for about 20% of the total tax revenues under Delhi Customs.
Once this test run is successful, the initiative may be launched across India after an assessment of costs, time savings, and compliances, a senior government official said.
The cargo traffic at all airports alone stood at 264,509 tonnes in August this year, according to data by the Airports Authority of India (pdf). At the country’s major ports, the figure was 57.59 million tonnes in the year-ago period, the Indian Ports Association said in a statement.
“The test run is being done within Delhi…for liquor,” the official told Quartz. “Liquor is a sensitive item, and it changes hands very frequently. It has been done in consultation with all stakeholders—the customs, the importers, the warehouse owners.”
All stakeholders have shown keen interest as the technology eases record-keeping and management, the official added.
How does blockchain technology work for trade?
Analysts believe blockchain technology will ensure secure and seamless