Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday asked four key ministries to leverage existing infrastructure and work in coordination with each other to reduce logistics cost from 14 per cent of GDP to 9 per cent by 2022. He reviewed the draft National Logistics Policy and the proposed action plan prepared by the Department of Logistics under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The draft has been prepared in consultation with the Ministries of Railways, Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and Civil Aviation.
Inputs from 46 partnering government agencies were analysed in detail for consideration in the policy, according to an official statement. Goyal said all efforts must be made to ensure that food grains, fruits and vegetables reach from farms to markets with minimum wastage of time. A central scheme for establishing cold chains could be made part of the action plan to improve efficiencies and reduce losses in agri produce.
During the review meeting, issues relating to rail freight rationalisation were discussed at length. Whenever a new road, railway, airport and shipping port project is considered, the Logistics Department must be a part of the consultation process to ensure holistic planning, rationalise freight movement and improve passenger experience, said Goyal. India's logistics sector is complex with more than 20 government agencies, 40 partner government agencies, 37 export promotion councils, 500 certifications, 10,000 commodities and 160 billion market size. It also involves 12 million employment base, 200 shipping agencies, 36 logistic services, 129 inland container depot, 168 container freight stations, 50 IT ecosystems, banks and insurance agencies.
Besides, 81 authorities and 500 certificates are required for exports and imports. As per the Economic Survey 2017-18, the logistics sector provides a livelihood to more than 22 million people. Improving the sector will reduce indirect logistics costs by 10 per cent, leading to five to eight per cent growth in exports. The logistics market has the potential to grow from 160 billion dollars to 215 billion dollars in the next two years. The draft logistics aims to increase India's trade competitiveness, create new jobs, improve the country's performance in global rankings and make it a logistics hub.
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