Anil Kumar Gupta, Chairman & Managing Director, CONCOR, expects a significant progress in the Indian logistics sector and highlights the expectations from the government initiatives.
Has the Modi Government brought about a change in the status of ease of doing business in India?
Business climate in the country is positive and it is expected that there will be upward growth. Custom Clearance Facilitation Committees (CCFCs) chaired by the jurisdictional Commissioner of Customs have been set up at all ports and airports, which is a major step towards ease of doing business as regards the EXIM trade. All stakeholders are members of this committee.
What are the reasons for the dismal growth of the logistics sector in India?
There has been considerable growth in the logistics industry in India. Container handling at Indian ports has shown a CAGR of around 10 per cent over the last 10 years.
Why has the sector not been able to provide last mile connectivity? How can this issue be addressed?
Infrastructure for last mile connectivity has not been able to keep pace with the growth in containerisation. However, the government has announced an SPV for providing rail connectivity to ports which will expedite last mile connectivity to hinterland. Dedicated Freight Corridor is also progressing and is likely to be commissioned by 2019, which will give a major boost to last mile connectivity.
Why does cold chain constitute a minor proportion of the logistics industry in India?
There are serious viability issues in developing a comprehensive cold chain in India. CONCOR has a fully owned subsidiary Fresh & Healthy Enterprises Ltd (FHEL) for cold chain logistics.
How will GST Bill impact the warehousing and logistics industry?
GST will subsume all the taxes and there will be a single tax. It will give boost to the warehousing and logistics industry as movement of goods across the states will become easier.
Has the ´Make in India´ campaign helped the sector to achieve growth? What would be its impact in the future?
It is too early to feel the impact of ´Make in India´ on logistics sector. We are optimistic that it will give boost to exports and imports of the country.
With the e-commerce sector gaining firm grip in India, what opportunities do you envisage for the sector?
CONCOR is making extensive use of e-commerce in its working. All the transactions at our terminals are electronic. We have a robust IT network that links all our terminals.
What changes in terms of reforms or policies would you expect from the government for bringing the sector on growth path?
We expect that land acquisition will become simpler and that will facilitate setting up of new terminals. We also expect that road connectivity to new terminals shall be ensured by respective state governments. We expect positive and trade friendly policies from the Customs department and early addressing of service tax issues that is severely impacting this sector.