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In a country like India, the importance of well greased and efficient logistics ecosystem for coal transportation is very high due to the country’s heavy reliance on coal as a primary source of energy for its thermal power plants. With the coal industry heavily reliant on road and rail transport, it becomes imperative to try reducing the cost of logistics too. The coal ministry is, therefore, developing a logistics policy for the sector and a national coal evacuation plan, an official statement said on Saturday.
An inter-ministerial meeting on logistics, convened by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), was held to review the progress of implementation of the National Logistics Policy, the statement said. During the meeting measures taken by different ministries to improve logistics efficiency in the country were also showcased.
“A draft Coal Logistic Policy and National Coal Evacuation Plan has been developed by the Ministry of Coal. In addition, standardization of physical assets (heavy earth moving machines for coal handling) and setting up benchmarks for quality management, is under progress,” the statement said.
DPIIT Secretary Rajesh Kumar Singh talked about the critical role played by ports in making India a globally competitive export destination and suggested greater adoption of initiatives like the Logistics Data Bank (LDB) to draw learnings for improving logistics performance across various metrics.
It was also highlighted that for making India’s domestically manufactured goods globally competitive, and for achieving the USD 2.5 trillion EXIM (export-import) target by 2030, it is imperative to have an efficient logistics ecosystem.
It was discussed that State Logistics Plans (SLPs) are being instituted to bring a holistic focus on logistics in public policy at the state level, and so far, 21 states have notified their respective logistics policies.
It is no news that the DPIIT has initiated an endeavor to estimate logistics costs, since no official estimates are available and they vary from 8-14% of GDP. The estimates, based on holistic data and relevant statistical models are expected soon.
The statement said that to improve India’s ranking in LPI and achieve the NLP target of being in the top 25 nations in the world, all stakeholder ministries were requested to set up a dedicated cell for undertaking a strategic approach to improving performance across all six parameters of the Logistics Performance Index (LPI) and the overall ranking, thereof.
Coal India Ltd. (CIL), aims to achieve 1 billion tonnes (BT) of coal production by 2023-24, and has planned to invest over INR 1.22 lakh crores in about 500 projects related to coal evacuation, infrastructure, project development, exploration, and clean coal technologies. CIL has also allocated INR 14,200 crores for 49 First Mile Connectivity projects, focusing on transporting coal from pitheads to dispatch points to improve efficiency in coal transport.