Proceedings & Key Takeaways
First States’ virtual Conference on 19 Jan 2021
The First State Level Virtual Conference was organized on 19th January 2021 with the key objective to initiate a consultative and collaborative framework for the Central and State Governments to work in a coordinated manner in the logistics sector. It was attended by more than 175 participants from States, Union Territories, Industry Bodies and Central Ministries. The conference was mainly divided into three sessions: Pre-inaugural session (with parallel breakout sessions), Inaugural session and Closing session. The breakout sessions focussed on four key topics of Smart Enforcement for Trucking, development of Warehousing, City Logistics and Logistics challenge due to shortage of truck drivers. Apart from this, highlights of the Draft National Logistics Policy and the approach and methodology to be followed for the LEADS 2021 study were also presented for inputs from States. Five States (namely Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tripura, Karnataka and Ut hiiitar Pradesh) who have taken policy initiatives to streamline the logistics sector made presentations showcasing work done by them in the logistics sector.
Key takeaways from the conference especially from the breakout sessions is summarized below:
Smart Enforcement: Smart enforcement focuses on using technology for conducting checks on road based freight. In order to efficiently identify those who are willful offenders, strengthening enforcement of laws without causing issues to the wider market and reducing dependence on physical by-sight enforcement, it is important for States to deepen the penetration of technology. Adoption of risk-based prioritization, based on data and backed by technology interventions, can help drastically reduce the need for physical stoppages of freight vehicles on road and increase efficiency of enforcement agencies.
Warehousing: Deliberations in the break-out session mainly revolved around two key areas as mentioned below:
- Standardisation of warehouses: Guidance standards need to be identified in terms of the structure, storage, processes, handling and packaging methodologies as this will help in uniform service experience across the country and will also make compliance to regulations transparent and hassle free. Required documentation also needs to be unified across states.
- Approval Processes Mapping: Streamlining of approval and licensing processes is needed. Practices such as Single Window Clearance for approvals need to be adopted. Conflict among applicable guidelines of various regulatory agencies for storage of special and dangerous goods e.g. SPCB requirements and NBC and Fire norms need to be resolved. Online dissemination of applicable rules and stages for approvals will help in enabling a system driven process rather than the current manually driven process.
City Logistics: City Logistics Planning was one among the key agenda items of the States Conference organized by the Logistics Division on 19th January, 2021. Discussions revolved around identifying quick reform areas and the way forward. The following next steps were decided:
- Set up Institutional Mechanisms for state and city level coordination.
- Nodal officers are being identified at state level to steer and facilitate coordination at state level.
- City level coordination Committees will be established comprising of Nodal Officer of the rank of Divisional Commissioner / District Collector / Municipal Commissioner, and other Committee Members including officers from field units of central ministries, resident groups, traders associations, and logistics service providers.
The Division will shortly be organizing a Cities conference in collaboration with Ministry of Housing and Urban affairs (Smart Cities Mission). Ranking of cities will be done to assess the initiatives undertaken. States will nominate 1 or 2 cities wherein city logistics related issues can be addressed. A total of 50 cities will be considered all across India.