Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the National Logistics Policy (NLP) on Saturday aimed at bringing down logistics cost in India and increasing the country’s trade competitiveness by enabling seamless movement of goods and building a unified digital interface.

“National Logistics Policy has immense potential for development of infrastructure, expansion of business and increasing employment opportunities…From 13-14 per cent  (of GDP) logistics cost, we should all aim to bring it to single-digit as soon as possible. This, in a way, is a low-hanging fruit, if we have to become globally competitive,”  Modi said at the launch of the NLP in New Delhi on Saturday.

The Unified Logistics Interface Platform (ULIP), an important initiative under the NLP,  will bring all the digital services related to the transportation sector into a single portal, freeing the exporters from a host of very long and cumbersome processes, the PM said. 

Similarly, under the policy a new digital platform Ease of Logistics Services — E-Logs — will help industry associations to directly take up any such matters which are causing problems in their operations and performance with the government agencies. “A complete system has also been put in place for the speedy resolution of such cases”, he said.

The NLP will be implemented in tandem with the PM Gatishakti National Master Plan which was inaugurated last year and has received support from States and Union Territories. “A huge data of information related to different infrastructure projects of state governments has been prepared. Today, data from the central and state governments in about 1500  layers are coming on the PM Gatishakti portal”, the Prime Minister informed.

“NLP will work as a double engine of working along PM Gati Shakti. With its implementation, cost will reduce, international trade will expand and startups will see new avenues,” Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said at the launch.

Industry gives thumbs-up

The industry, encouraged by the government’s ambitious plans of improving logistics, has its own set of expectations. “While the focus on improved road infrastructure and highways is  appreciable and a single interface as well as drones are immediate needs of the future we’re getting for, there is also a need to focus on Zero Emission Trucks and associated charging infrastructure,” pointed out Imthiaz, Co-founder and CEO, Raaho. Incentivised adoption can lay the ground for adequate research and over the next decade we may have largely bid farewell to internal combustion engines, he said. 

In India, where the road transportation dominates the logistics sector, with a dominant share of 60 percent, the shift towards multimodal infrastructure with a mix of rail, shipping, road, and air transport, will help reduce the congestion on roads along with low crude import bills, said Pervinder Singh Chawla, Co-Founder at OnMove by Zast Logisolutions. “The policy addresses the pre-existing concerns in India’s logistics sector from a global perspective. The comprehensive areas mentioned in the Policy, like process re-engineering, paperless supply chain, seamless multimodal transport and modern connectivity for ease of doing business & reducing logistics costs, will help the country reach its economic goals,” he said.

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