National logistics plan likely by next 10-12 months: Official

Kolkata, Jan 10:   The Union Commerce Ministry, which is preparing a national integrated logistics plan, expects to come out with it by the next 10-12 months, an official said here on Wednesday.

“We are developing a national integrated logistic development plan for the country. Now, we are trying to do a need assessment of logistics for the year 2035. We are talking to various stakeholders including logistic-using ministries like fertilisers, petroleum, food, steel, mineral, mines, food processing, etc and also to private players,” said Anant Swarup, Joint Secretary, Logistics, in the Ministry.

“Our objective is to know what would be their (stakeholders) requirement for logistics by 2035. This is a kind of demand projection exercise,” he said on the sidelines of a logistic event organised by Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“The centre would also try to map the efficient mode to transport this amount of goods and along with that, would also map out the infrastructure requirement to carry the projected amount,” he said, adding that the inputs from stakeholders are expected in three months time.

After completing the exercise to find out the infrastructural requirement, the Commerce Ministry would ask the logistic service providing ministries like Railways, Roads, Shipping, and Civil Aviation to align their respective plans with the national integrated logistic plan.

“For all that, we are going to conduct a study and hire a consultant. We hope we would be able to complete the study and come out with the action plan in the next 10-12 months. We float the tender very soon for hiring the consultant,” he said.

Swarup said the Ministry is trying to work with various states to simplify and standardise documents for logistics.

With the objective to reduce documentation requirement for exports and imports, the department is examining the issues commodity wise, taking up, for example, pharmaceuticals and food.

He said the department has started a study on ports to measure their “dwell time” which is the duration for which a vessel and cargo (including containers) stays in the port for service, with the consultant having been hired and the first report expected by March.

According to him, the centre is also working integrated logistics portal which would act as a single window for getting clearances from all the regulatory authorities, and also act as e-marketplace for logistics.