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DGFT armed with fresh resources to revamp IT infrastructure to boost logistics sector: Suresh Prabhu

Feb 19, 2019


NEW DELHI, 19 February 2019. The government has allocated Rs 132 crore to the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) to revamp IT infrastructure for upgradation of logistics in a bid to provide paperless, faceless and transparent solutions to the problems faced by industry and trade in the movement of goods and services across the country.

This was stated here today by Commerce and Industry Minister, Mr.  Suresh Prabhu while addressing the 'National Conference on Logistics Policy', organised by FICCI jointly with the Department of Commerce.

Mr. Prabhu said that an efficient and cost-effective logistics framework would provide industries in the logistics business with huge business opportunities while giving a boost to service sector at a time when the government was working on a new agriculture export policy. A well-coordinated and integrated logistics policy also has the potential for making the industry the largest employment generator in the country.

The primary objective of the draft National Logistics Policy 2018  is to facilitate  integrated  development  of  the  logistics  sector  in  the  country.  It aims to strengthen and prioritize the key objectives, focus areas and the governance framework for logistics and  also  clarifies  the  role  of  the  various  stakeholders  including  central  ministries, state governments and other key regulatory bodies

The draft policy seeks to create a single point of reference for all logistics and trade facilitation matters in the  country which will also function as a knowledge and information sharing platform. It also aims to drive logistics cost as a percentage of GDP down from an estimated level of 13-14% to  10%  in line with best-in-class global standards.

Minister Prabhu launched the 'Safar' App on logistics that would access the ground-level feedback from transporters and iron out the delays at the state borders.

Mr. Binoy Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Steel, urged the stakeholders to suggest solutions to lend efficiencies in the system for reducing transaction costs and improve the ease of doing business.

The draft policy, he said, seeks to bring the multifarious agencies under one platform for seamless interaction, adding that the success of the policy will rest on the integration of the numerous platforms in the logistics and transport sector and at the state level.

Mr. N. Sivasailam, Special Secretary (Logistics), Ministry of Commerce and Industry,  said that the  effort now is make the logistics policy work on the ground for which measurable benchmarks for the next three to five years would be crucial. He solicited inputs from the stakeholders on the time period for fructification of projects and a dispassionate assessment of the adequacy of the policy instruments contained in the draft policy.

Mr. Y. K. Modi, Past President, FICCI, said that the advent of GST had made it easier for inland trade movement as most businesses were experiencing easier and quicker movement of goods. While welcoming the draft national logistics policy, he called upon industry to examine the glitches in the policy framework with the aim of making the country the most efficient logistics provider in the world.

Mr. Anant Swarup, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry made a presentation on the draft logistics policy, highlighting its key objectives and the distinction between policy and the national logistics action plan.

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