Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched the National Logistics Policy (NLP) at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. The need for a national logistics policy was felt since the logistics cost in India, estimated at 13-14%, is high as compared to other developed economies. Therefore, reduction in logistics cost in India is vital to improve the competitiveness of Indian goods both in domestic as well as export markets.
PM Modi said, “To ensure quick last-mile delivery, end transport-related challenges, save time and money of the manufacturers, prevent wastage of agro-products, concerted efforts were made and one of the manifestations of those efforts is today’s National Logistics Policy.” The resulting improvement in coordination will lead to the desired speed in the sector.
He said, “The echo of Make in India and India becoming self-reliant is everywhere. India is setting big export targets and is also fulfilling them. The notion that India is emerging as a manufacturing hub is stabilising in the mind of the world.
The Prime Minister reiterated that schemes like Sagarmala and Bharatmala expedited the work of Dedicated Freight Corridors to improve logistics connectivity for systematic infrastructure development. He pointed out that the total capacity of Indian ports has increased significantly and the average turn-around time of container vessels has come down from 44 hours to 26 hours. For promoting export, 40 air cargo terminals have been constructed. Thirty airports have been provided cold-storage facilities. 35 multimodal hubs are coming up in the country.
Initiatives to achieve global cost competitiveness
Stressing the need to adopt technology to strengthen the logistics sector, the prime minister said that the government has worked towards initiatives like paperless EXIM trade process through e-Sanchit, faceless assessment for customs, provisions for e-way bills and FASTag that have greatly increased the efficiency of the logistics sector. He also underlined the importance of a unified tax system like GST in smoothening the issues of the logistics sector. Change in drone policy and connecting it with the PLI scheme is promoting the use of drones in the logistics sector. “Only after doing so much, we have come out with a National Logistics Policy, '' he explained. “From 13-14 percent 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,” the prime minister emphasised.
He said that Unified Logistics Interface Platform (ULIP) 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. Similarly, under the policy a new digital platform Ease of logistics Services (E-Logs) has also been started. “Through this portal, industry associations can 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.
PM Modi pointed out that the PM Gatishakti National Master Plan will be supporting the National Logistics Policy in all earnest. He also expressed happiness while mentioning the support that states and union territories have provided and that almost all the departments have started working together. “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 1,500 layers are coming on the PM Gatishakti portal."
The Prime Minister underlined that for the products manufactured in India to dominate the world market, it is crucial to have a strong support system. “The National Logistics Policy will greatly help us modernise this support system,” he said.
He concluded by saying, “The National Logistics Policy has immense potential for the development of infrastructure, for expansion of business and increasing employment opportunities. We have to realize these possibilities together.”
Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal; Union Minister of Road, Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari; Union Minister of Civil Aviation, Jyodiraditya Scindia, Union Minister of Railways; Ashwini Vaishnav; Union Minister of Port, Shipping and Waterways, Sarbanada Sonowal, Union Minister of Education; Dharmendra Pradhan, and Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Som Prakash were those present on the occasion.
SIAM lauds National Logistics Policy
Apex industry body SIAM has welcome the logistics policy. In a statement, Vinod Aggarwal, President, SIAM and managing director & CEO, VE Commercial Vehicles said, “The automobile industry welcomes the launch of the National Logistics Policy by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is an extremely vital step taken by the government that will boost the growth of the automobile sector as the policy focuses on building superior infrastructure like 35 multi-modal logistics hubs, which will promote seamless transportation of goods. It is expected that this policy will reduce the transit time and logistics cost for manufacturers and improve competitiveness of Indian goods in international markets, thereby helping our exports.”
All images: PIB