The government is preparing an integrated logistics plan to fast-track movement of goods and cut transactions cost of businesses, Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu said Thursday. He said that the plan would integrate all sectors — rail, road, ship and air. “We are preparing an integrated logistics plan and also a portal to make logistics efficient and cost-effective in the country,” he said here at the CILT Expo 2018.
Promoting trade and manufacturing are linked with logistics, and improvement in its efficiency would help boost economic development, he added. The minister said there were disruptions happening in the global supply chain due to the rising trade tensions between countries such as the US and China, creating huge opportunities for Indian logistics players.
Formulation of an integrated plan is important as the cost of logistics for India is about 14 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP). On the other hand, it is only 7-8 per cent in developed countries. Indian logistics industry is estimated at around USD 215 billion, which is growing at over 10 per cent annually.
Speaking at the event, Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani said the railways ministry is working on several projects including construction of dedicated freight corridors to cut logistics time and cost of industry.
To improve efficiency, the ministry is working on bridging infrastructure gap, doubling rail tracks, electrification of tracks, and construction of separate corridors for freight, he said. Lohani said that railways is looking to increase track-related work to 9,000 km this fiscal and 12,000 km in 2019-20, as compared to 5,300 km carried out in 2016-17.
“We are on our track to do this work,” he said adding the work on eastern and western freight corridors would be completed by March 2020; and electrification of entire railways would be done by 2022. Talking about station development programme, he said work on Gandhinagar and Bhopal stations would be over in the next 2-3 months.
To improve service delivery, he said the ministry is looking at simplifying processes and making it more consumer friendly. “We are working on three components — cultural transformation, large-scale process reforms, and changing the structure of organisation,” he added. (PTI)