The government on Saturday said it will soon release the national logistics policy, which aims to promote seamless movement of goods across the country.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget speech said that the policy will help in clarifying the roles of Centre, states and key regulators.
“A National Logistics Policy will be released soon,” she said, adding that it envisages creation of a single window e-logistics marketplace and focus on generation of employment, skills and making MSMEs competitive.
The e-marketplace will act as a one-stop platform for exporters and importers.
The policy is being worked out by the logistics division under the Commerce Ministry.
The policy, which is also aimed at reducing high transaction cost of traders, may propose setting up of a central portal, which will provide end-to-end logistics solutions to companies.
The announcement assumes significance as high logistics cost impact competitiveness of domestic goods in the 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.
Meanwhile, the Commerce Ministry in a statement said that India’s logistics sector is highly defragmented and the aim is to reduce the logistics cost from the present 14% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) to less than 10% by 2022.
“The sector is very complex with more than 20 government agencies, 40 partnering government agencies, 37 export promotion councils, 500 certifications, 10,000 commodities, $160 billion market size,” it said.
It also involves 12 million employment base, 200 shipping agencies, 36 logistics services, 129 ICDs (inland container depots), 168 CFSs (Container Freight Stations), 50 IT ecosystems and banks and insurance agencies.
Further, 81 authorities and 500 certificates are required for export and import.
The sector, it said, provides livelihood to over 22 million people and “improving the sector will facilitate 10% decrease in indirect logistics cost leading to the growth of 5 to 8% in exports”.
Further, it is estimated that the worth of Indian logistics market will be around $215 billion in next two years compared to about $160 billion at present.
“The policy will improve India’s trade competitiveness, improve performance in global rankings and pave the way for India to become a logistics hub,” it said.
It added that several announcements made by the finance minister in the Budget will make the policy more robust.
These announcements include geo-tagging of all warehouses, village storage scheme, promotion of cold chains for fish and perishables, running Krishi trains on PPP mode, and establishment of 100 more airports under the UDAN scheme.