Government gives logistics sector infrastructure status

In a major push to developing an integrated logistics framework in the country including industrial parks, cold chains and warehousing facilities—the government has granted infrastructure status to the logistics sector, enabling the industry to access cheaper finances. This status would help the sector get credit at competitive rates and on a long-term basis as rising logistics cost impacts the global competitiveness of exporters.
Realising the importance of the logistics sector to promote trade, the government has created a separate special secretary-level post in the Commerce Ministry to coordinate with all the ministries concerned and departments. To adopt a coherent approach for the development of logistics infrastructure, the government appointed Binoy Kumar, Former Director General of Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D) as Special Secretary In-charge of logistics in the Commerce and Industry Ministry.
The government has defined “logistics infrastructure” to include a multimodal logistics park comprising an Inland Container Depot (ICD) with a minimum investment of `50 crore and minimum area of 10 acre, a cold chain facility with a minimum investment of `15 crore and minimum area of 20,000 sq. ft and a warehousing facility with a minimum investment of `25 crore and a minimum area of 100,000 sq ft.
Logistics costs of exports are very high in India and due to this, Indian goods are less competitive in global markets. According to a report, about 14 per cent of the total value of goods goes into the logistics cost. On the other hand, in other major economies, this is just six to eight per cent.