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Central Govt to announce framework for logistical costs assessment : Jt. Secy,Logistics

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NEW DELHI : Dr. Surendra Ahirwar, Joint Secretary, Logistics Division, DPIIT said that central government is working on the development of a framework for assessment of logistical costs for different corridors and commodities at a national level. The government’s plan and vision for building logistical efficiency in the country. Edited excerpts below:

How is the rise of retail and e-commerce in India supporting growth of the logistics industry and vice-versa?

E-tail is growing rapidly and for all good. Looking at increased demand and growth in the etail sector, there’s an upbeat in the logistics industry.

E-commerce is conventional retail plus logistics. We have been availing the services of the retail sector by visiting a store and arranging for our own logistics, which was not the responsibility of sellers. However, today with the advent of e-tail, the responsibility of delivering products to the customers’ doorstep along with returns is the responsibility of the seller and is a part of the services they are selling.

Logistics has therefore come to the front. E-commerce and logistics sector will catalyze each other’s growth.

How is the government looking to channelise the role of private logistic players in the country?

The government’s business is to not do business. We’ve been following this philosophy and as a result business largely has been coming into the private sector. The public sector too is working more on the principles generally adopted by the private sector. The overall ecosystem is shifting towards a greater role of the private sector.

E-commerce is an emerging sector on its own without governments’ role. The government is looking at setting the outer boundaries to protect the interests of the consumers. Within these boundaries, the e-commerce sector is flourishing independently.

Government has assigned to itself the role of an enabler for growth of businesses, infrastructure and policy frameworks. Government is also placing huge emphasis on adoption of digital technologies and enhancing employment opportunities in the private sector.

Logistics has been declared as an infrastructure sector now, which is providing a conducive situation for credit to flow into the sector. We’re also ensuring development of infrastructure through PM GatiShakti. It is going to catalyze efficient administration of the projects starting from the planning stage to implementation.

Besides enabling the growth of business activities, the government is focusing on creating adequate purchasing power on the consumption side. We’re adopting a comprehensive approach promoting business activities and enabling private initiatives.

To name some initiatives, we are developing a Unified Logistics Interface Platform (ULIP), and have already launched the National Logistics Data Services (NLDS) which tracks all the containers through its journey from the port to the destination and back. In addition to providing live tracking updates to the trader, NLDS also helps in understanding where containers are getting stuck and what’s causing in-efficiency. Consequently, required interventions can be made. Further, it also helps in reducing the logistics costs.

How would you describe the government’s vision of building logistical efficiency in the country?

We’re looking at four key areas. First is capacity enhancement in terms of infrastructure, transportation, warehousing and packaging. Second includes rationalizing time consuming processes which are leading to inefficiencies and increasing the cost of logistics. Third is greater adoption of digital technology and automation of processes. And lastly, focus on human resource development.

We’re identifying educational deficit, skill gaps of existing and potential resources in the logistics sector. To fill this gap, we’re partnering with the private sector for development of skills, and are persuading them to ensure that there’s employment linked skill development.

We’re also developing a digitally enabled platform for resolution of logistic related issues which may pertain to more than one department. On this platform, industry associations
across sectors can get logistical issues consulted and resolved with the concerned department. This will be a very effective mechanism and will bring efficiency in the system.

What’s the government’s take on the issue of high logistical costs?

We’re working on development of a framework for assessment of logistical costs along with its necessary validation. In the next 6 months, we’ll have a framework duly validated by the industry, academia, and different departments and ministries. We’ll put it to test for international scrutiny, if possible, so that there is greater validation for the framework.

Once the framework is in place, it will be applied to conduct, study and measure logistics costs for different corridors and commodities at a national level. We’re also looking at the
calculation of logistics costs as it is incurred to Indian traders when they transact with different countries via export and import.

Source: ET

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