Technology framework for India’s road freight transport: compliance and enforcement architecture reform

In India on-road inspection of road freight in transit is done by several agencies such as tax, transport, police, and forest officials, leading to unscheduled stoppages and delays that add to operational transaction costs. The existing level of digitalization provides the necessary tools for moving toward data-based identification of potential noncompliance, minimizing the need for multiple physical inspections that the current enforcement model entails. The process of physical scrutiny could also be rationalized, limited to designated zones, and undertaken with greater transparency. This paper presents a comprehensive alternative model for all on-road enforcement agencies with regulatory mandates applicable to the movement and conveyance of cargo. Given the overwhelming importance of road freight in India, the reforms discussed in this paper represent a critical element of domestic trade facilitation.