Govt working on National Logistics Policy: Comm Min official

The government is working on National Logistics Policy, which aims to promote seamless movement of goods across the country, a senior Commerce Ministry official said on Thursday.

Special Secretary in the logistics division of the ministry, Pawan Agarwal, said the policy will look at several areas such as process re-engineering, digitisation, and focus on multi-modal transport.

It is also looking at exim trade and improving logistics in core sectors such as coal, fertiliser, cement and steel.

“We are working on the policy….The policy attempts to look at many of the issues in a wholistic manner,” Agarwal said at CII”s digital summit on exports.

He said there is a huge opportunity for India to do process re-engineering or streamline processes, and logistics is one area where a lot of processes can be digitised which can hugely enhance efficiency.

“The country does not have large number of professional logistic service providers. Lot more attention is required in the area of modern warehouses, where things can be automated for better efficiency in loading and unloading,” he said.

On February 1, the government, in the Budget, had announced that it will soon release the National Logistics Policy.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget speech had stated that the policy will help in clarifying the roles of Centre, states and key regulators.

The move assumes significance as high logistics cost impact competitiveness of domestic goods in international market.

Effective implementation of the policy would help provide an impetus to trade, enhance export competitiveness, and improve India”s ranking in the Logistics Performance Index.

India”s logistics sector is highly defragmented and the government aims to reduce the logistics cost from the present 14 per cent of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) to less than 10 per cent by 2022.

According to a ministry statement, the sector is very complex with more than 20 government agencies, 40 partnering government agencies, 37 export promotion councils, 500 certifications, and 10,000 commodities.

The policy will improve India”s trade competitiveness, and performance in global rankings, and pave the way for India to become a logistics hub, it had said.