The Commerce Ministry is working on a proposal to set up a separate logistics unit to deal with the issues, including rising costs that are impacting global competitiveness of exporters. There is presently no single department or ministry to look into the aspects of logistics covering various modes of shipment such as sea, roads and railways.
A strategy paper released in 2010 by the Commerce Ministry had emphasized upon the need to invest billions of dollars towards improving infrastructure to boost exports. The paper contained recommendations to modernize roads, ports, railways, airports, power and custom stations. During the April-February period of the current fiscal, exports grew by 2.52 percent which amounted to $245.4 billion.
The proposal is under discussion with the ministries concerned. Exporters too have demanded for a specific department to deal with the issues related to logistics. They are also undertaking a study to look at issues like shortcomings in logistics and ways to address that. An umbrella body would help coordinate all aspects of logistics, which is currently managed by different departments.
To increase the logistics competitiveness of exporters, the Commerce Ministry has also suggested to the Railways Ministry that it needs to clearly distinguish between consignments for exports, imports and the general category in terms of freight rates. Logistics costs of exports are very high in India and due to this, Indian goods are less competitive in the global markets. India is aiming to increase its share in global trade to 3.5 per cent by 2020 from the 2 per cent at present. Increasing trade will also help in creating big employment opportunities and boost economic growth.
News source – moneycontrol.com and economic times
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