Need of hour is to reduce logistics cost: Comm Min

New Delhi, Mar 03 (PTI): Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday said the need of the hour is to reduce logistics cost in the country as India cannot be competitive if this cost remains high.
He also said the investments in the Sagarmala project will boost the country’s maritime infrastructure, expand freight corridors, make freight more cost-effective and bring down the current logistics cost, which is estimated to be about 13-14 per cent.
The investments would help in reducing this cost to a more acceptable benchmark of 8 per cent, and that is “the need of the hour and India cannot be competitive as long as our logistics cost remain so high”, he said at the Maritime India Summit.
The Sagarmala project aims at augmenting infrastructure in coastal areas of the country.
Appealing to all stakeholders to utilize this opportunity to transform from being ‘service provider’ to ‘knowledge provider’, the Minister said that if we re-invent with technology driven solutions like robotics, automation, artificial intelligence, big data analytics, our sector will be SAFE: Sustainable, Agile, Futuristic, and Efficient. It’s time that we plan our port sector in such a manner that we can have modern and efficient ports, turnaround time of ships is brought down significantly. A more competitive spirit will help to keep the cost in freight and at port low. The Maritime India 2030 vision launched by Prime Minister highlights the priorities of our government. The slated investments of ?3 lakh crore in various port projects will help create 20 lakh new jobs in this sector. The investment in the Sagarmala projects will boost our Maritime infrastructure and help expand our freight corridors.
The Minister said that in the 6 years, the capacity of our major ports has almost doubled. He said that we have developed smart cities and industrial parks and integrated ports with the coastal economic zones. International and domestic freight costs will reduce from 13-14% Cost of Goods to a more acceptable international benchmark of 8%. Shri Goyal said that our Government’s 3 mantras for the infrastructure sector are: Upgrade – Create – Dedicate.
The Minister said that We are working to turn our coastal region into a role model for ease of living and ease of doing business. He urged the industry captains to build industry at sea coasts. He said that we on our part will ensure ease of doing business, and will work in partnership with States for enhancing ease of doing business at state and local level. The Minister said Let us work together with a triple engine: – Engine of Central Govt – Engine of State Govt – Engine of our Robust Maritime Sector Let the engine of growth & development in India prosper and flourish.

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