Economic Survey 2018: The country’s logistics industry which is worth around USD 160 billion is likely to touch USD 215 billion in the next two years with the implementation of GST, Economic Survey today said. “With the implementation of GST, the Indian logistics market is expected to reach about USD 215 billion in 2020, growing at a CAGR of 10.5 per cent,” Economic Survey 2017-18 tabled in Parliament said. The Indian logistics industry which provides employment to more than 22 million people has grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.8 per cent during the last five years, it said. The Global Ranking of the World Bank’s 2016 Logistics Performance Index shows that India jumped to 35th rank in 2016 from 54th rank in 2014 in terms of overall logistics performance.
India has improved its rank in all the six components of logistics performance index, it added. Realising the importance of the sector and to address the inefficiencies, the government has included the sector in the Harmonised Master List of Infrastructure Subsector. “Inclusion of logistics sector in the Harmonised Master List of Infrastructure Subsector will benefit the sector in many ways,” it said. It will be helpful in facilitating the credit flow into the sector with longer tenures and reasonable interest rates, it said adding the infrastructure status will simplify the process of approval for construction of multi modal logistics (parks) facilities that includes both storage and transport infrastructure. “It will encourage market accountability through regulatory authority and will attract investments from debt and pension funds into recognised projects,” it added.
Also read: India Economic Survey 2018: Prospects for India’s external trade sector look bright
To a large extent, the logistics sector in India remains unorganised, it said adding the industry is facing challenges such as high cost of logistics impacting competitiveness in domestic and global market, underdeveloped material handling infrastructure, fragmented warehousing and lack of seamless movement of goods across modes, among others. “In order to develop this sector in an integrated way, it is important to focus on new technology, improved investment, skilling, removing bottlenecks, improving inter modal transportation, automation, single window system for giving clearances, and simplifying processes,” it added.
Watch: Budget 2018: 5 Blockbuster Income Tax Moves Common Man Can Expect
By recognising the importance of the sector, a new logistics division has been created in the Department of Commerce to develop and coordinate integrated development of the industry, improvement in existing procedures, identification of bottlenecks and gaps, and introduction of technology-based interventions in this sector, the survey said. Improving logistics sector has huge implication on exports and it is estimated that a 10 per cent decrease in indirect logistics cost can increase 5-8 per cent of exports.
Also read: Economic Survey India 2017-18: Inflation higher than expected but not threatening; what led to surge in prices
Apart from increasing trade, better performance in logistics will augment programmes like Make in India, and also enable India to become an important part of the global supply chain.