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National logistics policy at the ‘near-finalisation stage’: Special Secretary Logistics

Special Logistics Secretary Pawan Kumar Agarwal
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The Commerce Ministry will soon be sending the draft National Logistics Policy to the Cabinet seeking approval for the same, Pawan Agarwal, Special Secretary Logistics, Ministry of Commerce informed. The Policy which was first proposed by the FM Nirmala Sitharaman in 2019 aims to promote seamless movement of goods across the country.

The policy is at the near-finalisation stage. Consultations with all ministries, departments and other stakeholders have happened. All their views and comments have been factored in. It will soon go for the Cabinet approval.”

~ Pawan Agarwal, special secretary at the commerce ministry’s logistics division

He added that a comprehensive institutional framework is also being set up to ensure the smooth implementation of the policy.

Towards this end, a national logistics council, a central advisory committee on logistics, and an empowered group of secretaries have been planned. The council will be headed by Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and the empowered group by the Cabinet secretariat, reports suggest.

A national grid of logistics parks and terminals is being planned for the coordinated development of intermodal facilities, promoting intermodal and multimodal logistics parks as a separate class of infrastructure.

Further, the development of modern warehousing along with formulating guidelines and standards for warehousing are also being looked at as a part of the policy.

The government with the proposed policy aims to drive economic growth and business competitiveness while reducing the high logistics cost in India. Over the next five years, the government eyes to reduce logistics cost from 13 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) at present to 8 per cent.

The proposed policy has been in the offing for the last few years. The government last year revisited the draft National Logistics Policy in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and other developments. Mr Agarwal said last year in May: “National Logistics Policy is being formulated and the draft policy will be revisited given the COVID-19 situation and other factors. This will give an opportunity to further fine-tune the policy and discuss issues that have not been addressed in the previous draft.”

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