Logistics to get infrastructure status soon
The logistics sector will soon get the infrastructure status, which would help the segment raise funds at competitive rates and boost external trade, a senior government official said. The proposal mooted by the commerce ministry has been approved by the finance ministry, the official said, adding “a notification in this regard would be issued soon”.
“Huge investments are required in the sector to boost the country’s trade and granting infrastructure status would help the industry attract investments,” the official said.
Logistics, as per the commerce ministry’s definition, includes industrial parks, warehouses, cold storages and transportation. This status would help the sector get credit at competitive rates and on long term basis as logistics costs impact global competitiveness of exporters.
Realising the importance of logistics sector to promote trade, the government has created a separate special secretary level post in the commerce ministry to coordinate with all the concerned ministries and departments. Earlier there was no single department or ministry to look at all the aspects related to logistics covering various modes of shipment such as sea, roads and railways. Exporters too have time and again demanded a specific department to deal with the issues related to logistics.
Logistics costs of exports are very high in the country, making Indian goods less competitive in global markets. According to a report, about 14 per cent of the total value of goods goes into the logistics cost while in other major economies it is just 6-8 per cent. A strategy paper released in 2010 by the commerce ministry had emphasised upon the need to invest billions of dollars in improving infrastructure including logistics to boost exports.