Centre planning to implement long-term National Logistics Plan

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on January 10, 2018

Anant Swarup, Joint Secretary (Logistics), Ministry of Commerce, addressing a logistics seminar organised by the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and India.

It would identify need-gaps, reduce logistics costs, and align infrastructure development of ministries

The Centre is looking to put in place a National Logistics Plan that will identify need-gaps, reduce the cost of logistics and align infrastructure development of various central ministries with one another. The plan would map the logistics requirements keeping in mind 2035 as the target year.

According to Anant Swarup, Joint Secretary (Logistics), Ministry of Commerce, the action plan is likely to be put in place over the next 12 months. Surveys are expected to begin soon. “We are in the process of finalising the tender details. An external agency will be appointed soon for carrying out the surveys and preparation of the action plan,” he told presspersons on the sidelines of a logistics seminar organised by the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and India.

As part of the preparation for the action plan, the Department of Commerce is expected to reach out to all “logistics using ministries” that include the likes of food processing, petroleum, fertilisers and so on to identify their usage patterns, requirements and need-gaps. These would be mapped.

On the other hand, the department will also reach out to the “service providing ministries” including road, civil aviation and so on to align their projects with the need-gaps identified. “We are looking at the future with an aim to bring down logistics costs,” Swarup said.

According to him, the Department of Commerce will also look at the best possible modes – road, railways, waterways or a multi-modal one – for transport of goods. “Ideally, all the modes should compliment and not compete with one another. We will look to suggest the best possible mode to connect one logistics centre to another,” he added.

Survey in Ports

Incidentally, the Department (along with two other agencies) has already begun a survey across various ports to determine the “dwell time” and ensure faster turnaround of goods.

According to Swarup, the idea behind this survey is to determine the time taken between goods reaching a port (export or import cargo) and the time taken by Customs to clear it. The idea yet again is to bring down this time – faster clearances – and thereby reduce logistics cost.

It also intends to bring down the paperwork or the number of documents that are to be submitted at various points in order to bring down logistics costs. “By March we are expecting the first report on dwell time,” he said.

Published on January 10, 2018

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