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States to join the Centre & private sector to improve country’s logistics performance


The National Conference with States on Logistics was organised on January 19, 2021 by the Department of Commerce, with the objective to initiate a consultative and collaborative framework for the Central and State governments to work in a coordinated manner in the logistics sector.  The conference was attended by more than 175 participants from the States and UTs, Central Ministries and industry bodies.


The conference emphasised that States have a key role to play in improving the country’s logistics performance.  A comprehensive 18-point agenda was presented to the States to improve logistics. Thrust areas for logistics improvement in the States were identified as city logistics, simplification of approvals for warehouses, facilitation for warehousing development, reducing burden on truck movement and addressing shortage of truck drivers.  It was decided that the Ministry of Commerce & Industry will work with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to focus on 50 cities for logistics planning initially.  A plan for facilitation to reduce enforcement burden on truck drivers will be developed.  Many States have already appointed senior officers as nodal officers for logistics, and others will do the same in a short period of time.  State-level Coordination Committees on Logistics will be formed.  Central Ministries looking after transportation will appoint State Nodal Officers to coordinate with the States.  The Logistics Division of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry will embark on surveys to assess and rank States on logistics performance.  The State ranking will focus on data, in addition to perspective on logistics performance.  Support will be provided to the States to improve the capacity for logistics coordination.  A City Conference will also be organised to take forward the initiatives of the conference, emphasised a release.


State presentations


Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Tripura, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh made presentations during the conference, on policy initiatives taken by them in the logistics sector.


In his address, the Union Minister of Railways, Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs and Food & Public Distribution, Mr Piyush Goyal, said that a National Logistic Policy, which is under consultation, will work as a template for better coordination and integrated development in the logistics sector.  He said that the logistics team in the Ministry of Commerce & Industry is trying to integrate various means of transport, documentation and stakeholders through technology platforms into a much-simplified way of working, which will enhance Ease of Doing Business.


Lauding the cooperative spirit of the conference, Mr Goyal said this will truly give confidence to the business communities and stakeholders.  He said that logistics is about ensuring customer satisfaction - Getting the Right product - In the Right condition - At the Right place - At the Right time - To the Right customer. Describing logistics as the lifeline of the nation’s economy and industry, he stressed on the need for having special coordinated efforts to end the problem of overhang on trucks, which should be tackled in mission mode.  He stressed that India has been able to demonstrate to the world its resilience and capacity to face adversities. 


The Minister of State for Commerce & Industry, Mr Som Parkash, emphasised on strengthening the logistics ecosystem as it is the backbone of the country.  He called for reducing the logistics cost from the present 13% to 8%, which will help Indian trade become competitive, create jobs, improve India’s ranking and make it a logistics hub for the global supply chain.  He added that each State must have a logistics policy and focus on developing infrastructure.


Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Commerce & Industry, Mr Hardeep Singh Puri, stressed on the importance of having institutional mechanism to synergise all stakeholders concerning city logistics. He said that the Logistics Division of the Commerce Ministry and the Smart City Mission of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs will collaborate with identified cities to assist them, wherever required, in setting up a mechanism for coordination with Central government agencies.    Mr Puri said cities need to develop supply chain awareness and plan for infrastructure and its efficient use in existing and future scenarios.  He emphasised on rapid increase in urban space and assimilation and analysis of data to identify data flow in life city growth aspirations and infrastructure plans, the release added. 


Source: Exim News Service: New Delhi, Jan. 21


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