Millennium Post

'National Logistics Portal to boost trade competitiveness'

New Delhi: A National Logistics Portal is being developed to ensure ease of trading in the international and domestic markets, as India eyes lowering logistics cost from 14 per cent of GDP to less than 10 per cent by 2022, the Commerce Ministry said on Thursday.

The portal will link all the stakeholders of export-import, domestic trade and all trade activities on a single platform, thereby generating jobs, increasing trade competitiveness and helping the country transform into a logistics hub, Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu said.

"The National Logistics portal will be implemented in phases and will fulfil the commitment of the Government of India to enhance trade competitiveness, create more jobs, provide a boost to #DigitalIndia and pave the way for India to become a global #logistics hub," Prabhu tweeted.

In this year's budget speech, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced that the Department of Commerce will create a portal which will be a single window online marketplace for trade. It will connect business, create opportunities and bring together various ministries, departments and the private sector. Stakeholders like traders, manufacturers, logistics service providers, infrastructure providers, financial services, government departments and groups and associations will all be on one platform.

"India's logistics sector is highly defragmented and the aim is to reduce the logistics cost from the present 14 per cent of GDP to less than 10 per cent by 2022, the ministry said.

The country's logistics sector is very complex with more than 20 government agencies, 40 partnering government agencies (PGAs), 37 export promotion councils, 500 certifications, 10,000 commodities and $160 billion market size.

It also involves 12 million employment base, 200 shipping agencies, 36 logistics services, 50 IT ecosystems and banks and insurance agencies. Further, 81 authorities and 500 certificates are required for EXIM.

As per the Economic Survey 2017-18, the Indian logistics sector provides livelihood to more than 22 million people and improving the sector will facilitate 10 per cent decrease in indirect logistics cost leading to the growth of 5 to 8 per cent in exports. Further, the Survey estimates that the worth of Indian logistics market would be around $215 billion in next two years compared to about $160 billion currently.

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