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States to deliberate on ways to improve logistics infra

States to deliberate on ways to improve logistics infra

NEW DELHI: In a bid to augment logistics infrastructure, state transport ministers will hold a meeting this week to chalk out strategies for improving operational efficiency of freight transportation.

“The Group of Ministers (GoM) (from states) is scheduled to meet at Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala this week to deliberate on crucial issues like how to improve freight transportation and bring wide-spread changes in the transport sector,” a road transport ministry official said.

Given that the growth of logistics infrastructure has not kept pace with economic growth and warrants much needed consideration, the GoM — headed by Rajasthan Transport Minister Yunus Khan — will chalk out strategies to bolster its growth, the official said.

Transporters Associations/Unions have been raising the issue of lower operational efficiencies on National Highways for freight transportation.

The Narendra Modi-led NDA government has been emphasising on enhancing logistics operations in the country.

Its push to port-led development under the ambitious Sagarmala programme has projected savings as as much as Rs 40,000 crore annually in logistics costs by 2025.

“According to a study conducted under the Sagarmala programme, there lies a significant potential for moving raw materials and finished products using coastal shipping and inland waterways which is 60-80 per cent cheaper than road or rail transport,” the government had said last month.

The flagship programme by the Shipping Ministry will help in reducing the logistics cost for both domestic and EXIM cargo with optimised infrastructure investment.

India, where the logistics cost (19 per cent of GDP) is amongst the highest in the world will undergo complete transformation under the Sagarmala Programme, by unlocking the full potential of the country’s coastline and waterways.

The programme aims to increase movement of coal through coastal route from 27 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) in 2015-16 to 129 MTPA by 2025 and increase the share of inland waterways and coastal shipping in modal mix to increase from 6 to 12 per cent.

The GoM will also look into issues like all India Authorization for Tourist Bus Permit.

The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways in May had issued a draft notification seeking comments of the stakeholders on it and some states had raised apprehensions regarding loss of revenue after implementation of the All India Authorization for Tourist Bus Permit Rules, 2016.

Besides, it may also finalise a strategy for seamless transfer of registration of more than two years old private vehicles from one state to another, if the owner has to relocate.

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