New Delhi: The commerce ministry will soon seek Cabinet approval for its national logistics policy, which is aimed at promoting seamless movement of goods across the country and reducing high transaction cost of traders, an official said.
The ministry has already circulated a draft Cabinet note on the policy seeking views of different ministries and departments on the same. "After getting the views, the department of commerce would finalise the note and seek Cabinet's approval," the official added.
The proposed policy will also focus on increasing the warehousing capacity, and identify gaps that could be bridged to bring down the cost of logistics for traders.
High logistics cost impacts competitiveness of domestic goods in the international markets. The commerce ministry is working on several steps, including development of a national logistics portal to boost both domestic and foreign trade.
The main departments involved in the process include Railways, Shipping, Road Transport, Civil Aviation and Customs. The plan will map the logistics requirements keeping in mind 2035 as the target year. It would also align infrastructure development of various central ministries with one another. Since 2011-12, India's exports have been hovering at around USD 300 billion.
During 2017-18, the shipments grew by about 10 per cent to USD 303 billion. Promoting exports helps a country to create jobs, boost manufacturing and earn more foreign exchange. Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu had earlier said that expenditure on investment in logistics, including infrastructure, will touch USD 500 billion annually by 2025.
He had said that the government is taking legislative as well as administrative measures for an integrated strategy to reduce logistics related hurdles for boosting domestic and global trade. The commerce ministry is developing the national logistics portal as a single window market place to link all stakeholders, and preparing an integrated strategy to reduce cost of exports, imports and domestic trade.
The Department of Logistics, under the ministry, also inked a memorandum of understanding with Indian institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) to set up a centre for logistics here. The cost of logistics for India is about 14 per cent of its GDP and it is far higher as compared to other countries.