NEW DELHI: While addressing a national conference that focused on ‘Warehousing Leasing, Investment & Development’ today, Shri Amrit Lal Meena, Special Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, 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 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.
Shri Meena, who was the chief guest at 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.”
Shri T K Manoj Kumar, Chairman, Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA) said, Pledge finance against WR is about 30 to 40 thousand crores since decades whereas total agriculture credit is 18L crores (FY 2022-23). Banks are able to achieve this target without increasing post-harvest finance especially pledge finance against e-NWRs to be set as target to banks in phased manner.
“We have a plan in place to promote pledge finance against e-NWRs. The total 88 banks were identified to work and task 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 pledge finance against e-NWRs is about 740 crores, 21-22 it was 1490 crores and in 2022-23 already crossed 780 crores in the first quarter itself thank to efforts we put in”.
Indian banks association has already advised its member banks to examine / consider that they finance only against e-NWRs after a period of one year. Perhaps banks may consider all the facts and give a forward-looking statement by giving some reasonable time to register with WDRA, said Mr. Kumar, Chairman, Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority.
He further stated that pledge finance is not yet popular like KCC. Many banks are ignoring this sector. Hence adequate incentives may be given to both banks and finance.
Shri Anay Shukla, Chief Customer Officer, Welspun One Logistics Parks said, A billion dollar investment has gone into the sector in the past year, steady at playing a vital role in supply chain & logistics.
The key panelists at the conference also featured noted names like Shri Jasjit Sethi, Chairman, National Council on Logistics, ASSOCHAM & CEO, TCI Supply Chain; Dr. Indravir Yadav IAS (Retd), Managing Director, Prerna Logistics; Shri Sujash Bera, Director, Logistics & Industrial, India, JLL; and Shri Hitender Mehta, Co-Chair, Council on SEZs, Industrial Parks and Warehousing, ASSOCHAM.