Union Transport Minister, Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday, during an online interaction with the members of the Domestic Air Cargo Agents Association of India (DACAAI) said that India is required to scale up the use of its aviation assets for cargo handling to lower the national logistics cost.
He said, “India needs to scale up the use of its aviation assets such as grounded aircraft and less-used airports for cargo handling so that logistics costs decline and export of resources such as fish, vegetables and fruits become viable. I will speak with my cabinet colleague and defence minister Rajnath Singh for using assets such as de-commissioned aircraft of Indian Air Force for cargo handling.”
Further, he explained that this would make the export of certain Indian commodities more viable, enhance the income of people and benefit the nation.
Speaking on bringing down the logistics cost from the current 13% he said, “The government will support your efforts. The point is, we need to get maximum work done by our assets and elicit maximum utility to keep costs low,”
Meanwhile, the government is in the process of revisiting the Draft National Logistics Policy in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and other developments, sources revealed.
“I have many suggestions for air cargo movement. There is a lot to do, especially in the case of fruits, vegetables and fish. Our marine economy is worth INR 1 trillion. We want to scale it up to INR 6 trillion but our biggest problem is transportation,” the minister said.
He adds, with an efficient air cargo ecosystem we will be able to export items like prawns from cities like Nagpur to Dubai and Singapore.
The logistics cost of the nation has been a severe challenge for the industry. It is well noted that the nation’s logistics cost is much higher than that of countries like China and the US.
Delhi-Mumbai Expressway Project
Gadkari while quoting the example of the upcoming 12-lane Delhi-Mumbai Expressway said, “The project is expected to drastically cut down travel time between the two cities. The number of trips taken by a truck will also increase and cost will go down.”
The 1 trillion project will reduce the distance between the two cities by over 150 km and cut travel time from 24 hours to 13 hours.
The Delhi-Mumbai Expressway being built under the first phase of the Bharatmala Project is showing steady progress amid commencement of work on a 497 km stretch.
Furthermore, the commencement of another 162 km stretch that has been awarded is likely to happen soon and a length of 569 km is under the bidding process. The project is expected to be completed by 2023.