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Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry is developing National Logistics Portal is to ensure ease of trading in international and domestic markets. The portal will link all stakeholders of EXIM (export and import), domestic trade and movement and all trade activities on single platform.
National Logistics Portal
It will be implemented in phases and will fulfil Central Government’s commitment to enhance trade competitiveness, create jobs, boost India’s performance in global rankings and pave way for India to become logistics hub. Stakeholders like traders, manufacturers, logistics service providers, infrastructure providers, financial services, Government departments and groups and associations will all be on one platform.
In 2018-19 budget speech, Union Finance Minister had announced that Department of Commerce will create portal which will be single window online market place for trade and will connect business, create opportunities and bring together various ministries, departments and private sector.
India’s logistics sector is highly defragmented and very complex with more than 20 government agencies, 40 partnering government agencies (PGAs), 37 export promotion councils, 500 certifications, 10000 commodities being stakeholders in it. At present it has 160 billion market size and involves 12 million employment base, 200 shipping agencies, 36 logistic services, 50 IT ecosystems and banks and insurance agencies. Government is aiming is to reduce logistics cost from present 14% of GDP to less than 10% by 2022. As per Economic Survey 2017-18, Indian logistics sector provides livelihood to more than 22 million people. Improving this sector will facilitate 10% decrease in indirect logistics cost leading to growth of 5 to 8% in exports. Further, it estimates that worth of Indian logistics market will be around US $215 billion in next two years compared to about US $160 billion currently.
The Union Government constituted a high-level task force under Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha to identify various items and policy interventions to reduce dependence on imports. It will suggest ways to cut import of those items which can be manufactured or explored in the country. The task force includes secretaries from Departments of Commerce, Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Revenue, Skill Development, Defence Production, Petroleum, Steel, Electronics and Telecommunications.
The move holds significance as India is heavily dependent on imports of several items such as oil, machinery, electronic hardware, pharmaceuticals ingredients including (active pharmaceuticals ingredients), gold and chemicals. On an average, India’s imports stand at around US $450 billion per year. In financial year 2017-18, the inbound shipments grew about 20% to US $460 billion.
India’s oil imports during same fiscal had risen by 25.47% to US $109.11 billion. Though increase in imports of intermediates and raw materials reflects boost in economic activities, but the inbound shipments of final goods impact domestic manufacturers. Earlier, concerns were raised over high dependence on pharmaceutical ingredients from China by trade experts.