CII Institute to develop freight index

CHENNAI OCT. 31. The CII Institute Of Logistics, which was inaugurated here today, will develop a Shipping Freight Index ex-India, according to B. Sridhar, Chairman of the CII Working Group on Ports and Director, Bengal Tiger Line.

Addressing the inaugural function of the institute, set up by the Confederation of Indian Industry-Southern Region (CII-SR), Mr. Sridhar said the institute would focus on creating trained logistics and supply chain professionals, increase awareness of best practices in supply chain and logistics technologies and conduct courses and workshops for working professionals.

The Chairman of the CII-SR, T. Kannan, and the Chairman of the institute, N. Kumar, highlighted the fact that Tamil Nadu, with three major ports (Chennai, Ennore and Tuticorin) had the potential to become the logistics hub of India on a par with Dubai or Singapore.

The President of CII, Ashok Soota, said one of the key areas of weakness affecting the competitiveness of Indian manufacturing industry was infrastructure, which in turn affected the efficiency of logistics and the supply chain and contributed to increase in costs. This was clear from the fact that the fastest growth in India was being recorded by the software sector, which was free from the problems of logistics, with its infrastructure needs being taken care of by satellite communications. However, for a country of India's size and population, the 29 per cent share in GDP which manufacturing accounted for was hardly sufficient to provide employment.

Improvement in the competitiveness of the Indian manufacturing sector to increase its employment potential rested on dealing with the `tyranny' of inefficiencies in infrastructure, Mr. Soota said.

Later, talking to presspersons, Mr. Soota said the CII was of the view that the `period of anxiety' for the economy was over and the third quarter of this fiscal would see higher growth rates, partly thanks to a better monsoon and partly driven by a turnaround in the global economic situation.

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