Is the logistics sector obtaining a single umbrella body in the near future, to be participated by all allied ministries? The recently held “India Integrated Transport and Logistics Summit” (IITLS) may be the first sign of achieving the much desired goal of the sunrise sector, i.e. logistics.
Hosted by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways for the first time Road, Rail, Shipping, Aviation, Finance, Skill Development and Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Urban Development Ministries joined hands on the occasion of IITLS held on May 4-5 at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi in presence of some 1500 Indian and overseas delegates from multimodal logistics sector to Deliberate on Integrated Multi-Modal Transport Planning. Several State governments also took part in this pioneering initiative.
The IITLS was organised with the objective of facilitating constructive dialogue between various stakeholders for the development of multimodal infrastructure in the country. Inaugurating the Summit Mr Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways said that Integrated Multi-Modal Transport Planning is critical for bringing down logistics cost and ensuring a sustainable and balanced economic growth. “Our high logistics costs are a result of the various modes of transport growing and developing in silos, in an un-integrated manner. Integrated, multi modal transport planning will help us to achieve a healthy modal mix of transport, which is efficient, faster, safer, import substituting, cost effective and pollution free,” said Mr Gadkari. He also said that the logistics and transport sector has a very high potential for employment generation. It can provide jobs to the local youth after proper skill training. It can also provide employment opportunities in rural areas.
The summit was also addressed by Minister for Civil Aviation Mr P Ashok Gajpathi Raju; Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Mr Ram Vilas Paswan; Minister for Railways Mr Suresh Prabhu; Minister for Skill Development Mr Rajiv Pratap Rudy; Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Mr Pon Radhakrishnan; Minister of State for Commerce & Industry, Ms Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of State for Finance Mr Arjun Ram Meghwal. Respective secretaries of the above ministries spoke at panel discussions focusing on huge importance of multimodal logistics system in the country to expedite manufacturing, domestic consumption and exim trade.
The Chairman and Chief Executive officer of DP World, Mr Sultan Bin Sulayam also addressed the summit. In his special address Sulayam pointed out that due to lack of proper storage, nearly 10,000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables get wasted in India. If proper planning is done and proper storage facility and logistic infrastructure made available, this wastage could be stopped. He said India has huge potentials and opportunity to unlock for manufacturing, export and logistics industry.
Later, an MoU was signed between DP World and National Investment Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) to develop projects spanning the port and logistics sectors including opportunities under the Sagarmala initiative, the Dedicated Freight Corridors and Logistics infrastructure aimed at reducing agriculture produce losses.
The event was supported by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
Logistics Efficiency Enhancement Programme by MoRTH
Recently, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) had undertaken a study, called the Logistics Efficiency Enhancement Programme (LEEP), which has identified four key solution themes to improve the state of logistics in India. These are freight corridor upgradation, logistics park development, seamless interstate movement and electronic toll collection systems. Taken together, these initiatives are expected to reduce India’s logistics costs and bring them closer to the accepted global benchmarks from the current high levels of 13-14% of GDP. The Ministry plans to develop 35 Multimodal Logistics Parks (MMLPs) in India which will, cater to 50% of the freight movement, enable 10% reduction in transportation costs and 12% reduction in C02 emissions. Land parcels have been identified and pre-feasibility studies initiated on six of these locations. The government is also working to formulate a uniform policy for the development of MMLPs.