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Union Budget 2023-24 should create roadmap for sustainable growth in logistics sector

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NEW DELHI : Finance Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman is scheduled to present the Union Budget 2023-24 in the Lok Sabha on February 1, which should not only create a roadmap for sustainable growth in the logistics sector but also incentivise the industry to adopt sustainable practices, operators said on Thursday.

FedEx Express Senior Vice-President Middle East Indian Subcontinent and Africa (MEISA) Operations Kami Viswanathan in a statement said, “We recommend the implementation of zero rating of Goods and Services Tax for all international transportation services.

“Most of the international GST/VAT legislations ‘zero-rate’ international freight transportation services. This would facilitate trade and align India with international tax practices as well as reduce logistics costs.”

“The budget should not only create a roadmap for sustainable growth in the logistics sector but also incentivize logistics players to adopt sustainable practices,” Viswanathan said.

According to Mahindra Logistics CFO Yogesh Patel, the government may also consider introducing concessions for electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure installation, such as charging stations in addition to concessions for new EVs which can expedite the adoption of EVs for commercial purposes and speed up its presence in the last-mile delivery services.

“Union Budget should continue to prioritise the improvement of logistics infrastructure across roads, warehouses and ports,” Patel explained.

The announcement of the National Logistics Policy has clearly laid out the direction to improve the efficiency and transparency of operations. Multiple interventions across the logistics ecosystem, that the National Logistics Policy defines, should be adequately funded by the budget so that its effects can be seen in the years to come.

“One of the focus areas for the budget can be on enhancing transparency and visibility, which can be attained through the Unified Logistics Interface Platform as and when it is integrated into the system,” he explained.

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