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Draft logistics policy proposes e-marketplace, and a fund for start-ups

      02/08/2019

The Centre has come up with a draft national logistics policy to create a national logistics e-marketplace as a one-stop marketplace for exporters and importers, set up a separate fund for start-ups in the logistics sector, and to double employment in the sector.

The Commerce & Industry Ministry has invited comments from stakeholders by February 19 on the draft policy, which was put up on its website on Wednesday.

“It will involve simplification of documentation for exports/imports and drive transparency through digitisation of processes involving customs, in regulatory, certification and compliance services,” the draft stated, with regard to the e-marketplace.

By improving logistics, the Ministry hopes to provide an impetus to trade, enhance export competitiveness, improve India’s ranking in the Logistics Performance Index to between 25 and 30, reduce losses due to agri-wastage to less than 5 per cent, and bring down logistics costs to 10 per cent of GDP from the current levels of 13-14 per cent.

To encourage start-ups bringing in new technologies in the logistics space, particularly in areas such as market aggregation, freight forwarding, cold chain, and telematics, the draft suggests setting up a start-up acceleration fund to help incubate such ventures.

The logistics wing will work with the respective ministries for identification and development of terminals/ logistics parks next to specific rail sidings to optimise freight movement for key commodities.

“This would result in reduction of first-mile and last-mile costs, drastically bringing down the logistics cost,” the draft stated.

Key projects for driving first-mile and last-mile connectivity and to optimise the modal mix will be identified by the logistics wing, per the draft. Expedited clearances will be facilitated for infrastructure projects. For example, the Ministry of Environment and Forests, provides single window environmental clearance through the “PARIVESH” platform. It will also identify key corridors that can be developed as ‘model logistics’ corridors connecting major clusters, the draft said.

Doubling employment in the logistics sector by generating 10-15 million jobs, focussing on enhancing skills in the sector and encouraging gender diversity will also be on the anvil, the draft stated.