NEW DELHI: The commerce and industry ministry has proposed creation of a separate department for trade facilitation and logistics for better coordination among different government agencies.

In its 100-day agenda for the new government, the ministry said, “Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (PMEAC) has also recommended the same. This will lead to better coordination.”

At present, the logistics division in the Department of Commerce is mandated to develop an action plan for the logistics sector in the country, by way of policy changes, improvement in existing procedures, identification of bottlenecks and gaps, and introduction of technology. However, there is no single department to look at all the aspects related to logistics covering various modes of shipment such as sea, roads and railways.

India’s logistics and transportation costs are pegged at 14.4% of the gross domestic product, much higher than China’s 8%.

In January, the PMEAC had suggested setting up of a separate logistics department to boost the transport sector and to improve ease of doing business.

The 10-point action plan has also proposed rolling out policies on national and multi-modal logistics, integrated national logistics action plan, and logistics planning and performance management tool.

As per the plan, a Multi-Modal Transportation of Goods (MMTG) Bill will be introduced in Parliament to replace the existing MMTG Act, 1993. The new bill would introduce concepts such as regulation of self-regulatory agencies and facilitation of smooth movement of products for both domestic consumption and foreign trade.