Logistics Policy to improve trade competitiveness coming

Amiti Sen | Updated on February 02, 2020

Will clarify the roles of Centre, States, key regulators

A National Logistics Policy, which will create a single window e-logistics market and focus on generation of employment, skills and making micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) competitive, will be announced soon, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.

“It will clarify the roles of the Union Government, State Governments and key regulators,” Sitharaman said in the Budget.

The cost of logistics in India is about 14 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product and is much higher than many other countries such as Japan where it is 11 per cent of GDP and the US where it is 9-10 per cent. India’s target is to reduce it to about 10 per cent by 2022 which could increase exports by 5-8 per cent, as per government estimates.

“The National Logistics Policy formulated by the Commerce and Industry Ministry will improve India’s trade competitiveness, create more jobs, improve performance in global rankings and pave the way for India to become a logistics hub,” according to a release circulated by the Commerce & Industry Ministry.

The logistics sector is complex with more than 20 government agencies, 40 partnering government agencies, 37 export promotion councils, 500 certifications and 10,000 commodities and a $160-billion market.

It has a 12 million employment base and involves 200 shipping agencies, 36 logistics services, 129 ICDs, 168 CFSs, 50 IT ecosystems and banks and insurance agencies. Moreover, there are a total of 81 authorities and 500 certificates are required for export-import trade.

Other Budget announcements such as viability gap funding for warehousing and their geo-tagging, village storage schemes, cold chains for fish and perishables and refrigerated vans for perishables in passenger trains will also give a boost to logistics, the statement said.

“The National Logistics Policy, with the creation of a single-window e-logistics market, is another initiative that will help organise and streamline the sector, contributing to efficiency, cost reduction, and optimisation of resources,” according to Aditya Vazirani, CEO, Robinsons Global Logistics Solutions.

Published on February 02, 2020

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