National Logistics Policy After Eight Years of Hard Labour
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched on September 17 the National Logistics Policy (NLP) at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. The policy aims to achieve, among others, “quick last-mile delivery, end transport-related challenges, save time and money of manufacturers, and prevent wastage of agro-products. The end result is significant time and the cost reduction.’’
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister called the launch of the National Logistics Policy a significant step in fulfilling the ‘Pran’ of India being a developed country. “To ensure quick last mile delivery, end transport-related challenges, save time and money of the manufacturers, prevent wastage of the agro-products, concerted efforts were made and one of the manifestations of those efforts is today’s National Logistics Policy”, the Prime Minister said. The resulting improvement in coordination will lead to the desired speed in the sector.
The Prime Minister noted that in India, which has become the 5th largest economy in the world, things are changing rapidly. Referring to the release of Cheetah in Madhya P reserve park, the Prime Minister said “we all want that luggage should move quickly like a cheetah.”
The Prime Minister said “the echo of Make in India and India becoming self-reliant is everywhere. India is setting big export targets and is also fulfilling them. The notion that India is emerging as a manufacturing hub, is stabilizing in the mind of the world.”
In such a situation, the Prime Minister said, the National Logistics Policy will bring new energy to all sectors. He said that policy is a beginning and policy plus performance is equal to progress. When parameters, roadmap and timeline for performance come together then policy plus performance equal to progress emerges, he elaborated. “Today’s India prepares the ground before bringing any policy, only then a policy can be implemented successfully. National Logistics Policy has not come out of the blue and there are 8 years of hard work behind it. There are policy changes, major decisions, and, if I talk about myself, it has my 22 years of governance experience behind it”, he said.
The Prime Minister reiterated that schemes like Sagarmala, Bharatmala, expedited the work of Dedicated Freight Corridors to improve logistics connectivity for systematic infrastructure development. Shri Modi pointed out that the total capacity of Indian ports has increased significantly and the average turn-around time of container vessels has come down from 44 hours to 26 hours.
For promoting exports, 40 air cargo terminals have been constructed. 30 airports have been provided cold-storage facilities. 35 multimodal hubs are coming up in the country. “Through waterways, we can do eco-friendly and cost-effective transportation, for this many new waterways are also being built in the country”, the Prime Minister added.
He also mentioned Kisan Rail and Kisan Udan experiments during the Corona time. Today 60 airports have the facility of Krishi Udan.
Stressing the need to adopt technology to strengthen the logistic sector, the Prime Minister said that the government has worked towards initiatives like paperless EXIM trade process through e-sanchit, faceless assessment for customs, provisions for e-way bills, FASTag etc. that have greatly increased the efficiency of the logistics sector. He also underlined the importance of a unified tax system like GST in smoothening the issues of the logistics sector.
Change in drone policy and connecting it with the PLI (Production Linked Incentive) scheme is promoting the use of drones in the logistics sector. “Only after doing so much, we have come out with a National Logistics Policy, ” he explained. “From 13-14 per cent logistics cost, we should all aim to bring it to single-digit as soon as possible. This, in a way, is a low-hanging fruit, if we have to become globally competitive”, the Prime Minister emphasised.
The Prime Minister said that Unified Logistics Interface Platform ULIP will bring all the digital services related to the transportation sector into a single portal, freeing the exporters from a host of very long and cumbersome processes. Similarly, under the policy a new digital platform Ease of logistics Services -E-Logs has also been started. “Through this portal, industry associations can directly take up any such matters which are causing problems in their operations and performance with the government agencies. A complete system has also been put in place for the speedy resolution of such cases”, he said.
Shri Modi pointed out that the PM Gatishakti National Master Plan will be supporting the National Logistics Policy in all earnest. The Prime Minister also expressed happiness while mentioning the support that states and union territories have provided and that almost all the departments have started working together. “A huge data of information related to different infrastructure projects of state governments has been prepared. Today, data from the central and state governments in about 1500 layers are coming on the PM Gatishakti portal”, the Prime Minister informed.
“Gatishakti and National Logistics Policy together are now taking the country towards a new work culture. The talent that will come out of the recently approved Gatishakti University will also help it a lot”, he added.
The Prime Minister said that today, the world is looking at India as a ‘democratic superpower’. He highlighted the ‘extraordinary talent ecosystem’ of India that has impressed the field experts who praise the ‘determination’ and ‘progress’ of India. The Prime Minister said “today the world’s attitude towards India is changing. Today the world is evaluating India very positively, it is keeping a lot of expectations from India”
The Prime Minister remarked that the resilience shown by India and the Indian economy in the midst of a global crisis has filled the world with new confidence. “The reforms that India has done in the last years, the policies implemented are unprecedented. That is why the faith of the world has increased in us”, the Prime Minister said. He urged the nation to fully live up to the trust of the world. “This is our responsibility, we all have a responsibility. The National Logistics Policy, launched today, will help the country a lot in this”, he added.
The Prime Minister urged competitive behaviour in Indians and said “India, which is determined to become developed, now has to compete more with developed countries, so everything should be competitive.” He continued “be it service sector, manufacturing sector, automobiles, electronics, we have to set big goals in every sector and achieve them”, the Prime Minister remarked. The Prime Minister also pointed out the increasing attraction of the world toward products that are made in India. “Be it India’s agricultural products, India’s mobile or India’s BrahMos missile, they are discussed in the world today.” The Prime Minister also mentioned the Made in India covid vaccines and medicines that helped in saving millions of lives across the globe.
The Prime Minister underlined that for the products manufactured in India to dominate the world market, it is crucial to have a strong support system. “The National Logistics Policy will greatly help us modernize this support system”, he said.
Shri Modi also pointed out that the issues related to logistics are reduced and when the country’s exports increase, small industries and the people working in them benefit the most. “Strengthening of the logistics sector will not only make the life of common man easier but will also help in increasing the respect of labour and workers”, the Prime Minister added.
In concluding his address, the Prime Minister said “The National Logistics Policy has immense potential for the development of infrastructure, for expansion of business and increasing employment opportunities. We have to realize these possibilities together” the Prime Minister said.
It may be noted that the need for a national logistics policy was felt since the logistics cost in India is high as compared to other developed economies. It is imperative to reduce the logistics cost in India for improving the competitiveness of Indian goods both in domestic as well as export markets. Reduced logistics cost improves efficiency cutting across various sectors of the economy, encouraging value addition and enterprise.
Since 2014, the government has put significant emphasis on improving both, Ease of Doing Business and Ease of Living.
National Logistics Policy, a comprehensive effort to address issues of high cost and inefficiency by laying down an overarching interdisciplinary, cross-sectoral and multi-jurisdictional framework for the development of the entire logistics ecosystem, is yet another step in this direction.
The policy is an endeavour to improve the competitiveness of Indian goods, enhance economic growth and increase employment opportunities.
Logistics encompasses planning, coordinating, storing, and moving resources —people, raw materials, inventory, equipment, etc., from one location to another, from the production points to consumption, distribution, or other production points.
The policy has simple but transformational targets to help benchmark its performance. These are:
1. Reduce the cost of logistics from 14-18 percent of GDP to global best practices of 8 percent by 2030. Countries like the US, South Korea, Singapore, and certain European nations have such a low logistics cost-to-GDP ratio.
2. Improve the country’s Logistics Performance Index (LPI) ranking to be among top 25 countries by 2030.
3. Create data-driven decision support systems (DSS) to enable an efficient logistics ecosystem.
4. The policy’s target is to ensure that logistical issues are minimised, exports grow manifold, and small industries and the people working in them benefit significantly.
5. Strengthening the logistics sector will not only make it easier to do business, but also to generate substantial employment and ensure improvement in wages and working conditions.
It has been the vision of the Prime Minister to develop world-class modern infrastructure through the integration of all stakeholders in holistic planning and implementation so that efficiency and synergy are achieved in the execution of the project. The PM GatiShakti – National Master Plan for muti-modal connectivity – launched by the Prime Minister last year, was a pioneering step in this direction. PM GatiShakti will get further boost and complementarity with the launch of the National Logistics Policy, it is said.