The government is in the process of revisiting the Draft National Logistics Policy in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and other developments, as revealed by Mr Pawan Kumar Agarwal, Special Secretary- Logistics, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

While addressing an interactive session via webinar, organized by FICCI, Mr Agarwal said, “National Logistics Policy is being formulated and the draft policy will be revisited given the COVID-19 situation and other factors. This will give an opportunity to further fine-tune the policy and discuss issues that have not been addressed in the previous draft.”

He called upon the industry to brainstorm ideas and share their recommendations in formulating the policy in a bid to make India’s supply chain more resilient and responsive to disasters and emergencies.

Mr Agarwal said that focus is on integrated development of logistics sector so that different players can be brought on the same platform. “There is a need to develop national logistics that is fully integrated with global logistics ecosystem. The focus is on connecting the local supply chain with global logistics,” he added.

Mr Agarwal, while highlighting the 8 mantras for transforming India’s logistics sector, shared that there is a need for standardization, improving quality and promoting excellence in the sector.

He underlined the value of digitization that has been further reinforced by COVID-19 pandemic and the need for skilling human resources, improving quality of work and professionalism in the sector.

The Special Secretary said that there was a need for optimal utilization of logistics. “The emphasis is on making the overall logistics sector more innovative, resilient, and sustainable” said Mr Agarwal.

He further added that green logistics is the centre of attention, as it will attract medium and long-term gains for the sector.

The webinar was attended by other industry stalwarts who shared their two cents on strengthening the logistics sector.

Mr Shantanu Bhadkamkar, President, Association of Multimodal Transport Operators of India (AMTOI), said that the logistics sector is truly global in nature. He added that logistics sector is early adapters of technology.

The Chairman of Federation of Freight Forwarders’ Associations in India (FFFAI), Mr A V Vijaykumar emphasised on the need for ramping up infrastructure for smoother functioning of import and export activities. He added that specific freight corridors will help in inbound and outbound transportation.

Mr R S Subramanian, Chairman, Express Industry Council of India (EICI), said that express services will act as catalyst in nation’s supply chain development. He observed that the focus of the sector should be on digitalization and investment promotion for capacity building.

Mr Mukesh Haritash, Co-Chair, FICCI Logistics Committee, said that industry will go forward to collaborate with the Government on the National Logistics Policy.

Another distinct personality,Mr Abhishek Prakash Rao Group Director-Sales & Marketing, Varuna Group, felt that the biggest opportunity is to have greater transparency across the national supply chain in which technology will play a massive role.

Mr Juzar Mustan, Chairman, FICCI Logistics Committee, said that the sector is adapting new technology faster than before and the users are more receptive to digital economy.