In a major step towards strengthening port infrastructure, the government proposes to create product specific warehouses at various major and non-major ports across the country.
The proposed warehouses will cater to a host of products such as cement, electronic products, pharmaceuticals, auto spares parts and components. They will also be equipped with liquid tanks, chemicals tanks and also provide refrigerated storage facilities.
A Shipping Ministry statement said that development of this infrastructure would reduce storage losses, minimise logistic costs and facilitate distribution of cargo in the hinterland.
Apart from ports, such infrastructure will also be developed around the multimodal logistics parks located near the port area and alongside the national waterways.
While the big players have their own warehouses and storage spaces, the smaller players find it difficult to get their products specific storage silos at various locations. The development of these world-class warehousing spaces will give a big push,specially to such small logistics players for their 'Ease of Doing Business' with better planning and inventory management, the statement said.
The smaller players would have the option of paying nominal fees to make use of this infrastructure. This option is expected to benefit them, as presently their loaded trucks keep waiting to find appropriate storage near ports quite often. In turn, it will also reduce the losses as compared to the traditional warehousing and provide more robust and cost-effective supply chain.
For implementation of these envisaged projects, the government is ascertaining the interest amid various Indian companies and infrastructure developers including start-ups. It is also examining the support required by investors in the form of viability gap funding for such projects to be developed under the PPP model.
The government also proposes to invest equity in SPVs that develop these projects so that these world-class infrastructure projects get smoothly implemented.
Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Mansukh Mandaviya said: "We are planning to create world-class Product Specific Agglomeration Centre on 'Pay and Use Model' which will immensely benefit the small traders & logistics players. It would result into transporting their cargoes through the cheapest mode of transportation, which is through sea or waterways. Hence, these agglomeration centres will drastically cut down the country's overall logistics cost and give a boost to export-import trade through coastal shipping. It would also create employment opportunities in the coastal areas."
The Ministry aims to reduce logistic cost with appropriate infrastructure interventions as a part of ambitious Sagarmala Programme. This is the flagship programme of the Ministry to promote port-led development in the country by harnessing potential of India's 7,500 km long coastline and 21,000 km of navigable waterways.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
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