INVC NEWS New Delhi ,

Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, addressed the first stakeholder consultation on the draft logistics policy prepared by the Department of Logistics of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry in New Delhi today. The National Conference on Logistics Policy is being held on 19 – 20 February, 2019 in New Delhi.

Speaking on this occasion Commerce Minister said that the cost of logistics in India is extremely high as compared to other countries. India is now aiming to become one of the most efficient logistics providers in the world.  Commence Minister further stated that for this the Ministry of Commerce has drafted a National Logistics Policy which will provide an overall vision and direction to integrated development of logistics in the country. Suresh Prabhu informed that the two-day national conference has been organized to seek inputs of the policy from all the stakeholders who will be the end users of the National Logistics Portal.

The Minister further said that the vision of the policy is to ramp-up economic growth and trade competitiveness through an integrated, seamless, efficient, reliable and cost effective logistics network. Suresh Prabhu informed that logistics is a very important component of ease of doing business as 80 % of ease in business relates to logistics.

In order to ensure cross-ministerial coordination, a robust governance framework has been set up bringing together government, academia, and industry. Suresh Prabhu promised that he will personally oversee the implementation of the plan and eliminate any bottlenecks. He also informed that the Ministry is putting in place the national logistics fund to help implement the plan. He hoped that the two-day consultation will result in fruitful discussion and he assured that the inputs given by the stakeholders will be incorporated in the policy.

On this occasion, Commerce Minister launch the SAFAR Mobile App. This app will help to gauge the actual issues faced by transporters on the road. The app tracks the incidence of a number of parameters faced by transporters and automatically records the location of the issue. Transporters, truck drivers, and general public may use the app for reporting their logistics issues to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.  The app is available in 8 languages.

On this occasion, Special Secretary, Logistics, N. Sivasailam, said that the logistics business in the country is worth USD 160 billion and is growing at 7% - 8 % every year. The key objectives of the policy are to reduce logistics cost from 14% to 10% of GDP, create additional 10-15 million jobs in the sector, become a single point for all logistics & trade facilitation and reduce losses in agriculture to less than 5%, by facilitating agri-logistics in the country.

Special Secretary informed that in order to drive these objectives, 18 thrust areas have been detailed in the policy. These include optimizing modal mix in the country and development of logistics infrastructure, enhancing transport and rolling stock infrastructure, strengthening the warehousing and agri-logistics sector, streamlining key logistics processes - EXIM and inter-state movement, facilitating first mile and last mile connectivity, and easing logistics for MSME, e-commerce and all other key sectors in the economy.

Secretary Ministry of Steel, Binoy Kumar, who was the first to helm the Department of Logistics when it was set up, was also present on this occasion.