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Tuesday , 28 May 2024

Integrated Transport and Logistics Summit (IITLS)

IITLS organised by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in New Delhi from May 3-5 discussed the ways to improve India’s poor logistics performance index due to an unfavourable modal mix of transport and a lack of seamless intermodal connectivity. Speaking at the opening session, Minister Nitin Gadkari said that one of the major impediments to growth in India has been the high logistics cost. “If our economy is to flourish and if we want to ensure sustainable and balanced growth, we urgently need to reduce our logistics cost to globally comparable rates,” he said.

Gadkari added that the high logistics costs are a result of the various modes of transport growing and developing in silos, in an un-integrated manner. Integrated, multi-modal transport planning will help achieve a healthy modal mix of transport, which is efficient, faster, safer, import substituting, cost effective and pollution-free. He also said that the logistics and transport sector has a very high potential for employment generation. MoRTH has undertaken a study, called the Logistics Efficiency Enhancement Programme (LEEP), which has identified four key solution themes to improve the state of logistics in India. These are: freight corridor upgradation, logistics park development, seamless interstate movement and electronic toll collection systems. Taken together, these initiatives are expected to reduce India’s logistics costs and bring them closer to the accepted global benchmarks from the current high levels of 13-14% of GDP.

Multimodal Logistics Parks

The Ministry plans to develop 35 Multimodal Logistics Parks (MMLPs) in India which will, cater to 50% of the freight movement, enable 10% reduction in transportation costs and 12% reduction in C02 emissions. Land parcels have been identified and prefeasibility studies initiated on six of these locations. The government is also working to formulate a uniform policy for the development of MMLPs.

P Ashok Gajpathi Raju, Minister for Civil Aviation, said at the opening session that India has witnessed explosive growth of air traffic and infrastructure in the past two to three years. The air cargo industry is expected to register around 9% growth in the next few years and the setting up of logistics parks in the country will be very useful.

Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, said there is a need to develop a national common market, adding that connectivity between rail, road and waterways is required, so that farmers can take their produce to market in time and get better price. Thirty-four MoUs amounting to about Rs 2 lakh crores were signed at the Summit.

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