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  1. Working on action plan to cut export, import costs: Commerce Ministry

Working on action plan to cut export, import costs: Commerce Ministry

The commerce ministry today said it is working on a comprehensive action plan, including development of a sectoral portal to reduce cost of exports, imports and domestic logistics in the country.

By: | New Delhi | Published: January 16, 2018 10:48 PM
Suresh Prabhu commerce ministry, commerce minister suresh prabhu, economy, india Prabhu said the ministry is looking at the logistics policy structure of other countries including Singapore and Dubai. (Reuters)

The commerce ministry today said it is working on a comprehensive action plan, including development of a sectoral portal to reduce cost of exports, imports and domestic logistics in the country. The ‘National Integrated Logistics Action Plan’ would focus on making logistics more efficient through easing of processes, induction of information technology and co-ordinated enhancement of logistics infrastructure in the country.

Through this, “we will look at speed and cost of doing business”, Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu told reporters here. He added that the speed of import and export depends on efficiency of logistics. Prabhu said the ministry is looking at the logistics policy structure of other countries including Singapore and Dubai. The UAE has stated it would “work with us” in the initiative, he added. As part of the plan, the ministry is working on a detailed portal to link logistics services.

Special Secretary (Logistics) Binoy Kumar said the idea is to bring interface among all logistics to bring down compliance burden for industry and traders. In a statement, the ministry said it has resolved to reduce the logistics cost from the present 14 per cent of GDP to less than 10 per cent by 2022. A concerted effort in collaboration with central line ministries as well as state governments has been initiated for simplifying the regulatory processes in both domestic and EXIM (export-import) logistics, it added.

It added that work has also been started on an integrated logistics portal that will be a transactional e-market place connecting buyers as well as logistics service providers with all government agencies such as customs, port community systems, sea, air port terminal, shipping lines and railways. Further, with a view to establish linkages with the government agencies, industry and academia for developing a detailed action plan, the ministry has inked an MoU with industry chamber CII today.

The objective of the pact includes establishing a working group to examine issues related to logistics and recommend solutions; to undertake studies on logistics and to promote government policies. Anant Swarup, joint secretary in the department of commerce, stated that as per estimates, 10 per cent cut in logistics cost could help increase 5-8 per cent increase in exports.

The main challenges of the sector, he said, include multiple regulators or policy making bodies, procedural complexities and lack of single window system. The action plan also aims to improve logistics, skilling and increase jobs in the sector to 40 million by 2022, he added. Keshav Chandra, Joint Secretary in the department, said these initiatives would help cut transaction costs and compliance burden of industry.

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