National Logistics Policy
The National Logistics Policy provides the roadmap for building a modern logistics sector that integrates multiple modes of transportation and leverages the best-in-class technology, processes, and skilled manpower in order to significantly improve the country's logistics performance and reduce logistics costs.
The aim is to improve the efficiency of supply chains in India and to integrate them globally by breaking silos and following an interdisciplinary, cross-sector and multi-jurisdictional approach. This approach is needed not only in creating new assets according to a National Master Plan but also requires optimal utilization of assets in a collaborative manner with the ultimate goal of providing a seamless experience for the user. A new policy on Logistics framed with an integrated approach is also needed because logistics as a subject is gaining more and more appreciation as the right way to look at activities behind the working capital requirements. Moreover, freight flows in the country are undergoing a transformation as is the demand (and supply) landscape, new technologies are emerging, and workforce aspirations and skill sets are undergoing massive shifts. There is also an emerging awareness of the costs of not planning for freight flows across cities and need for resilience in supply chains, especially after COVID.
The New Logistics Policy informs about the initiatives, investments and programmes in the logistics ecosystem and development of logistics plans at national, state and city levels. Some of the challenges and inadequacies that the policy seeks to address are: complex regulatory environment, piecemeal and silo-ed development of infrastructure, gaps in skilling ecosystem, disjointed IT systems, weak EXIM logistics, sub-optimal use of available infrastructure and preponderance of empty return trips.
Logistics is viewed as a mainstream activity that cuts across industries and sectors and hence the policy delineates the institutional basis of co-operation and co-ordination among central ministries, state governments and the private sector for the integrated development of the sector. India could achieve the vision of “Atma Nirbhar Bharat” or self-reliance by strengthening its supply chains, to meet the growing domestic demand and cater global demand through integration will global value chains.
The National Logistics Policy hereby aspires to develop an integrated cost-effective, reliable, sustainable, and digitally enabled logistics ecosystem in the country for accelerated and inclusive economic growth.
The mandate of the policy is to develop an integrated logistics sector. To fulfil the mandate, on the supply side the policy will focus on four key elements namely, 1) Unified Policy and Regulatory Framework; 2) Interconnected Infrastructure; 3) Digital Transformation; and 4) Training and Skilling Ecosystem.
The Policy sets three stiff targets for the nation: to improve India’s LPI ranking to 25 over the next 5 years; reduction in logistics cost by 5%; and to establish indigenous metrics for continual improvement.
The National Logistics Policy, 2021 has been framed after wide consultations with Government and private stakeholders.
The implementation of the logistics policy itself is expected to bring about dynamic changes in how trade is executed. This policy may be reviewed periodically for appropriate course corrections and as and when new technologies and systems are developed. Such changes may be brought as addendum to the policy and will assist all stakeholders in implementing their rolling action plans.
Suggestions in this direction from the visitor will always be most welcome.