The much-awaited National Logistics Policy that aims to promote seamless movement of goods across the country is expected to be unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 17 September, people aware of the matter revealed to the media.
The policy is being brought in tandem with the Prime Minister’s ambitious GatiShakti national master plan that was launched to build robust infrastructure, fill the missing gaps in logistics, and draw more investments into the country. It is also expected to draw focus on broader policy issues of warehousing, and give thrust to digitization, they said.
A work in progress for the last few years, the national logistics policy has been on hold due to a lack of final inputs from the ministries such as road transport and shipping and a lack of consensus among other government departments.
Apart from many others, one of the primary goals of the National Logistics Policy is to reduce elevated costs – long blamed for eroding the competitiveness of exporters – from the current 14% of GDP to about 8%.
“A National Logistics Policy will be released soon. Inter alia; it will clarify the roles of the Union government, state governments, and key regulators. It will create a single-window e-logistics market and focus on the generation of employment, skills and making MSMEs competitive,” finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said in the 2020-21 budget speech.
India has never had a uniform approach to logistics as a subject of public policy.
Understanding the need to boost the logistics industry and give more importance to infrastructure creation and highway construction, the Narendra Modi-led government prioritized a separate logistics division in its first term and this was set up in 2017, under the commerce department of the commerce and industry ministry.