India in the Fast Lane: Between Cheetahs and New Logistics Laws

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published on 28 September 2022 | Reading time approx. 2 minutes


A few days ago, cheetahs were reintroduced to India after being thought to be extinct for the past 70 years. On the same day, Honorable Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that he was relaunching the National Logistics Policy after three years of a corona-related moratorium. While the rehabilitation of the cheetahs has been the focus of national and international interest in recent days, the “National Logistics Policy” has been neglected to a certain extent – and wrongfully so. The parallels between cheetahs and logistics laws may not be obvious at first glance, but they are both signs of a progressive new course on the part of the Indian government and they can – at least metaphorically – be linked: India is in the fast lane. 


Why is the announced “National Logistics Policy” so relevant for companies that are either already based in India or aspire to expand to the subcontinent in the future?
 
In recent years, and especially as part of the “Make in India” (MIIM) initiative, the Indian government has gradually made it easier to do business locally through a series of measures. However, even though the logistics costs have fallen significantly due to the introduction of the GST and other measures such as the introduction of the “E-way Bill”, they are still relatively high in an international comparison. Producers in India perceive this as a massive competitive disadvantage.
 
The newly announced framework directive is in the light of simplification, cost and time efficiency:
  • Prime Minister Modi announced that logistics costs, which are currently at 13 to 14 per cent, will be drastically reduced “to a single-digit number” in the next few years.
  • According to Prime Minister Modi, the handling time of container ships in ports has already been reduced from 44 to 26 hours.
  • In addition, otherwise lengthy, complicated paper-based bureaucratic hurdles have been addressed and are progressively being simplified, for example through the introduction of an online portal to streamline logistics services (ease of Logistics services portal, “e-log”).
  • Furthermore, a single digital portal that lists all services associated with the transport sector (Unified Logistics Interface Platform, “ULIP”) has been introduced. Thus, a central interface, which provides a single-point interface for business-to-business and business-to-government dealings, has been created – without compromising on data security.
  • Modi also announced the construction of more environmentally friendly waterways as well as wide-ranging improvements to the country's logistics facilities.
 
The planned measures as part of the “National Logistics Policy” are aimed at further improving India's competitiveness in the global market, making the country an even more appealing, economically viable location for foreign and local companies.
 
In the midst of massive global challenges – geopolitical divisions, rising energy prices, corona-related supply chain bottlenecks or the acute shortage of skilled workers, to only name a few – this sign from the Indian government is certainly a step in the right direction. 

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