Gujarat has topped the logistics index chart for the third time in a row, an indicator of the efficiency of logistical services necessary for promoting exports and economic growth, according to a Commerce Ministry report released on Monday. Gujarat occupied the first spot among 21 states, followed by Haryana, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra in that order.
The report ranks the states on the basis of their logistics ecosystem, highlights the key logistics-related challenges faced by the stakeholders and includes suggestive recommendations, according to the third LEADS (Logistics Ease Across Different States) 2021 report unveiled by Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal. The index aims at enhancing the focus on improving logistics performance across states which is essential for improving the country’s trade and reducing transaction cost.
Among the northeastern states and Himalayan union territories, Jammu Kashmir topped the chart. Among Union Territories, Delhi was at the top. The first logistics report was released in 2018. No ranking was released last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Gujarat was at the first position in both 2018 and 2019 ranking lists.
In the top 10 list, Maharashtra, which was ranked fifth, was followed by Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in that order. West Bengal, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh and Assam were ranked at 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st respectively.
The overall index is based on 21 indicators. The survey was conducted during May-August 2021. The whole exercise garnered 3,771 responses from 1,405 respondents across the country. Speaking at the launch of the report, the Commerce and Industry Minister said that the inputs given by the report can lead the way to bring down logistics cost by 5 per cent over the next five years.
As per estimates, at present, the cost is about 13-14 per cent of the GDP. Goyal said that efficient logistics was pivotal to bring ease and empowerment to businesses as well as citizens.
“Rather than just absolute improvement in one state, improvement of logistics across all states, will be a force multiplier for the entire logistics ecosystem”, he said. When asked about the issue of container shortage, the minister said now the international trade is picking up “very well” and it augurs well for the Indian economy.
“India alone will be looking at 40 per cent plus growth in our exports and almost a 25 per cent growth in our imports,” he said, adding the container problem was happening across the globe and the ministry is working with shipping lines, and container operators. It is also trying to bring empty containers, customs is trying to speed up the processes, railways is helping to move empty containers at subsidised prices, he added.
With all these efforts, prices have stabilised and now gradually started coming down, Goyal said. “We do hope that in the months to come, we quickly see things stabilizing to normalcy,” he added.