“The logistics industry of India is at 15 per cent plus growth rate and infrastructure will play a crucial role in realising the growth potential,” said Rajeev Ranjan, Principal Secretary to Government, Highways & Minor Ports Department, Government of Tamil Nadu. Rajan estimates losses due to inefficiency can add up to more than four per cent of the country’s GDP.
Welcoming 100 per cent FDI in rail infrastructure, Rajan said: “the Vision 2023 document of the state has at its heart, a strategic plan for infrastructure development like the Chennai outer ring road to de-bottleneck the city and the Chennai peripheral ring road to ease the logistics operations.”
Ravichandran Purushothaman, Chairman, CII Chennai Zone, said Indian logistics costs are six per cent higher than China’s. To create sustainable growth we need warehouses, cold chains and centres of excellence in road transport.
Calling ports as amphibians of logistics, Atulya Misra, Chairman, Port of Chennai, said: “The operating income of ports cannot be the right criterion of the port’s performance. Chennai port has an operating income of Rs 600 crore while it gives a flow of Rs 25,000 crore to customs.”
He highlighted the need for recruitment of more custom officials. The current thrust is to quickly modernise, benchmark with international parameters, simplify procedures, expand coastal shipping and achieve private sector efficiency along with public sector transparency.