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In January, only 3 states had their warehouse & logistic policies in place, today there are 12: Special Secretary, DPIIT

Warehouses in different states are also getting mapped on the digital platform that has been developed under the PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan

In January, only 3 states had their warehouse & logistic policies in place, today there are 12: Special Secretary, DPIIT
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Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

While addressing a national conference that focused on 'Warehousing Leasing, Investment & Development' on Thursday, Amrit Lal Meena, Special Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry laid emphasis on the importance of regulations and standardization in warehousing and that handbook that prescribes standards for warehousing is in the works. The event was held by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India(ASSOCHAM), a non-governmental trade association and advocacy group based in New Delhi, India that represents the interests of trade and commerce in India.

He said, "Unless there are policies framework in place, bringing in regulation and standardization is difficult. So, when the PM Gati Shakti was launched and a review of the logistics policies was carried out and we found that only three states had state warehousing and logistics policies in place. However, through continuous coordination of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) with the state governments in the last 7 months, 12 states have their state logistics policies now."

He informed the gathering that the warehouses in different states are also getting mapped on the digital platform that has been developed under the PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan.

Meena, who was the chief guest at the conference, also touched upon the topic of introducing regulations in warehousing. He said, "We are likely to come out with a handbook that prescribes standards for warehousing, tracking systems, and also the IT-related management systems of the warehouses, soon. These standards have been developed keeping the global practices in mind and in consultation with warehouse authorities and associations keeping. However, they are under deliberation right now."

He also added, "There is a push for the creation of a new world-class warehouse infrastructure in the country under special central assistance. Hopefully, with these standards, policies, and support from all of you, we will be able to have a much more advanced and robust warehousing system in the country."

T K Manoj Kumar, Chairman, Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA) said that the pledged finance against WR(Warehouse Receipt) is about Rs 30 to 40,000 crores since decades whereas total agriculture credit is 18L crores (FY 2022-23). He said that banks are able to achieve this target without increasing post-harvest finance especially pledge finance against e-NWRs(E-Negotiable Warehouse Receipt) to be set as target to banks in a phased manner."

He added, "We have a plan in place to promote pledge finance against e-NWRs. A total of 88 banks were identified to work and the task has already begun on this front. We have spoken to all PSBs and I'm happy that some of PSBs are considering launching exclusive loan products for e-NWRs with reduced interest rates and incentives like waiver of processing fee. In FY2020-21 pledged finance against e-NWRs was about 740 crores, in 2021-22 it was Rs1490 crores, and in 2022-23 it had already crossed Rs 780 crores in the first quarter itself thanks to efforts we put in".

Anay Shukla, Chief Customer Officer, Welspun One Logistics Parks who was present at the event said that a billion dollars worth of investment has gone into the sector in the past year, steady at playing a vital role in the supply chain and logistics sector.

The key panelists at the conference also featured noted names from the industry including Jasjit Sethi, Chairman, National Council on Logistics, ASSOCHAM and CEO of TCI Supply Chain; Dr. Indravir Yadav IAS (Retd), Managing Director of Prerna Logistics; Sujash Bera, Director, Logistics & Industrial of India, JLL; and Hitender Mehta, Co-Chair in the Council on SEZs, Industrial Parks and Warehousing at ASSOCHAM.

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