Date: 21/11/2023

Efforts persist to improve India’s Logistics Performance Index ranking

A meeting on Measures Taken and Action Plan for improving India’s Logistics Performance Index (LPI) ranking was held under the chairpersonship of Special Secretary (Logistics), DPIIT, MoCI on Friday with the nodal officers of the LPI dedicated cell formed in Stakeholder Ministries/Departments.
The dedicated cell meets every fortnight to assess the measures taken and outcomes achieved in improving performance across six parameters of LPI including (i) Customs (ii) Infrastructure (iii) Ease of arranging shipments (iv) Quality of logistics services (v) Tracking and Tracing and (vi) Timeliness.
Ms Sumita Dawra, Special Secretary (Logistics) DPIIT, during her opening remarks highlighted that the targeted action plan is important to improve the logistics efficiency of the country and thereby India’s ranking in the World Bank LPI. She added that the measures taken by the stakeholder Ministries/ Departments will be showcased to the World Bank LPI team.
Action plan & best practices
During the meeting, Ministries/Departments presented the action plan, and best practices were showcased.Mr Vivek Verma, Secretary, Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI), highlighted that LPAI has implemented a Land Port Management System (LPMS) to digitise operations and facilitate a secure electronic flow of information between all stakeholders at the Integrated Check Posts (ICPs). The system is reducing the dwell time of cross-border movements (trade and passenger), enhancing the efficiency of Customs and border management clearance, and improving the timely delivery of shipments.  He added that LPAI has been successful in reducing the dwell time from 57 days to less than 24 hours.
Mr Manoj Gangeya, ED (Planning), Ministry of Railways, talked about various initiatives that MoR is planning across six parameters of LPI. These include 100% electrification of railway tracks, increasing capex to INR 2.6 lakh crore in FY24 to improve the speed and volume of freight transport in the country, and the implementation of the Eastern and Western Dedicated Freight Corridors, which is likely to increase the average speed of freight trains, thereby reducing transit time and inventory cost to customers. Additionally, the development of rail containerisation at ports and freight terminals is expected to increase rail container loading from 80 million MT recorded last year to 3 times by FY31.  MoR is also checking the feasibility of railway siding at Land Ports to promote multimodal connectivity.
Mr Ajay Kumar, CEO, AAICLAS, highlighted the airport capacity building being undertaken at Kolkata, with a target to construct an upgraded/new facility by December 2025. An air cargo village in an area of 37 acres approx. in Delhi (Jewar airport) is also being planned with an investment of Rs 1,200 crore, which is likely to be commissioned by December 2024.
Mr Rituraj Mishra, Deputy Secretary (Ports), presented the various initiatives that have been planned to improve logistics efficiency. Some of them include the automation of weighbridges, improving scanning facilities at the ports, increasing DPD/ DPE share to 80% by rail, and streamlining and simplifying processes by creating Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) across all the ports.
Mr R. Ananth, Director, CBIC, highlighted that Custom Revenue Control Laboratories (CRCL) will be launched in Guwahati by December 2023, which will assist in field formations in chemical analysis of samples of various trade commodities.
In her closing remarks, the Special Secretary added that these initiatives, with a targeted intervention, will improve logistics efficiency in the country. Further, the good practices by Ministries will help in impressing the idea of objective-based assessment in LPI calculation to the World Bank. In this regard, she suggested:
* Ministries/Departments including CBIC, MoCA, MoRTH, MoR and MoPSW to share the initiatives, best practices, and interventions planned to address the gap/issues pertaining to Ministries in the form of an action plan with a timeline in coordination with User Ministries (Coal, Steel, DGFT) and NICDC.
* A systematic approach needs to be followed to communicate the initiatives and good practices of Ministries/Departments to the stakeholders, which will improve the perception of the logistics sector in India.
The Stakeholder Ministries/Departments include Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI), M/o Civil Aviation, M/o Railways, M/o Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW), M/o Coal, CBIC, M/o Steel, and D/o Commerce, Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) and National Industrial Corridor Development Corporation Limited (NICDC), said a release
Source: Exim News Service: New Delhi, Nov. 20.