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Piyush Goyal takes stock of draft National Logistics Policy

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Minister of Commerce and Industry and Railways, Piyush Goyal, on June 27, reviewed the draft National Logistics Policy.

The minister proposed an action plan for the implementation of the policy prepared by the Department of Logistics, which comes under the Commerce Ministry.

"The draft policy has been prepared in consultation with the ministries of railways, road transport and highways, shipping, and civil aviation. Forty-six partnering government agencies (PGAs) inputs were analysed in detail for consideration in the policy," the commerce ministry said in a statement.

Goyal has asked these four ministries to work with each other to bring down India's logistics costs from the current 14 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) to 9 percent.

"In the meeting, all aspects of logistics related to railways, civil aviation, shipping and inland waterways, road transport, ropeways warehousing and cold chain were discussed in detail," the release said.

The minister also directed line ministries to ensure that foodgrains, fruits and vegetables reach from farm to market with a minimum wastage of time.

He also said that a central scheme for cold chain across the country, especially for fruits, vegetables and perishables, may be made part of the action plan of the draft logistics policy so that it improves efficiency and reduces the loss of farmer's produce.

"During the review meeting issues relating to rail freight rationalization and freight policy for dedicated freight corridor, having immediate implications for modal shift, were discussed at length," the release said.

Goyal also directed that the logistics department must be a part of consultation process whenever any new road, railway, airport and shipping port project is being considered to ensure holistic planning.

India’s logistics sector is highly fragmented, and the aim is to reduce the logistics cost from the present 14 percent of the GDP to less than 10 percent by 2022.

As per the Economic Survey 2017-18, the Indian logistics sector provides livelihood to more than 22 million people, and improving the sector will facilitate a 10 percent decrease in indirect logistics cost, leading to a growth of 5 to 8 percent in exports.

Further, the survey estimated that the worth of Indian logistics market would be around $215 billion in next two years compared to about $160 billion currently.

"The commerce and industry ministry is formulating the logistics policy so that India’s trade competitiveness grows, more jobs are created, India’s performance in global rankings improves and paves the way for India to become a logistics hub," the release said.