The government is formulating a policy for the integrated development of multimodal logistics parks with a view to promoting movement of goods for domestic as well as global trade, an official said. Currently, there is no specific definition, specification and standardisation of multimodal logistics parks.
Due to this, different ministries including railways, shipping and the department of industrial policy and promotion are developing these parks. “There are cases where two different departments are developing these parks at the same location. So duplication is happening on account of lack of a comprehensive policy. So, there is a need to have a common policy on this subject,” the official said.
As many as 35 such parks have been proposed by different ministries including railways. A 50-acre park requires Rs 200-300 crore for development. The policy would help set up one authority for the approval of these parks, setting up common standards, fixing time frames, and areas where they can be constructed.
“The commerce ministry has circulated a note in this regard to take views of different stakeholders. States and union territories are also being consulted on the proposal for the multimodal logistics park policy,” the official added. The move is part of several measures being considered by the commerce ministry to cut the logistic cost of both domestic and global traders.
The ministry is also in the process of seeking Cabinet approval for its national logistics policy, which is aimed at promoting seamless movement of goods across the country and reducing high transaction cost of traders.
The proposed policy will also focus on increasing the warehousing capacity and identify gaps that could be bridged to bring down the cost of logistics for traders.
High logistics cost impacts the competitiveness of domestic goods in the international markets. It is also working on the development of a national logistics portal as a single window marketplace to link all stakeholders.
Since 2011-12, India’s exports have been hovering at around USD 300 billion. During 2017-18, the shipments grew by about 10 per cent to USD 303 billion. Promoting exports helps a country create jobs, boost manufacturing and earn more foreign exchange.
The cost of logistics for India is about 14 per cent of its GDP and it is higher than in other countries.