Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently conducted a virtual cabinet meeting with Union Ministers including Nitin Gadkari (transport), Piyush Goyal (trade and railway), Nirmala Sitharaman (finance) and Hardeep Singh Puri (aviation). The agenda of this high-level ministerial meeting was to review the preparations for the national master plan in order to improve multimodal connectivity to various industrial hubs and economic zones.
The government of India has taken a large number of steps to reduce logistics cost in the country in order to fuel growth. These include making a robust network of inland waterways to transport cargo in a cost-effective manner.
A government official aware of the development told the media that key transport ministries—rail, shipping, roads, aviation—as well as other ministries such as petroleum and natural gas, power, steel, telecom, renewable energy are part of this plan, with trade and industry ministry spreading it.
“Government departments have been told that there should be no gaps in any mode of transportation in the industrial hubs – for instance, where coal or steel is being produced,” the official said.
The Union government has been formulating a national policy aiming to reduce logistics cost from the present 14% of Gross Domestic Product to less than 10% by 2022.
“All transport departments have to work together and logistics have to be worked out in key industrial hubs to make the system more efficient. The plan has to be such that logistics cost should go down,” the official further added.
The prime minister on the occasion of Independence Day said that there is a need to give a “new direction” to infrastructure development and for this, integration of key modes of transportation—road, rail, air, waterways—is crucial.
The government is currently working towards boosting multimodal connectivity on several front, with the use of different modes of transportation to facilitate transportation of goods, thereby cutting travel time and making the system more efficient.