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Special Purpose Vehicle to study food grain storage, handling

Emerging field: (From left to right) Mark Drabenstott, Secretary General, Global Coalition for Efficient Logistics; K.V. Thomas, Minister of State of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution; R. Dinesh, Event Chairman; and Mike Nithavrianakis, British Deputy High Commissioner, at a seminar in Chennai on Thursday. — Photo: S.R. Raghunathan

Emerging field: (From left to right) Mark Drabenstott, Secretary General, Global Coalition for Efficient Logistics; K.V. Thomas, Minister of State of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution; R. Dinesh, Event Chairman; and Mike Nithavrianakis, British Deputy High Commissioner, at a seminar in Chennai on Thursday. — Photo: S.R. Raghunathan  

Rs. 2,000 crore for improving warehousing capacity: Union Minister

The Centre would create a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to undertake studies of food grain storage, handling and transportation mainly through Railways, said K.V. Thomas, Union Minister of State for Food, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution on Thursday.

Delivering the inaugural address at the two-day conference on ‘Building Warehousing competitiveness' organised by the CII Institute of Logistics (CIL), he said that the warehouses would be constructed with modern temperature control.

The pilot project had already commenced. Besides, the Planning Commission has constituted a committee to undertake a comprehensive study to suggest measures for creation of modern food grain storage infrastructure facility in the country. “With the modernisation of the food storage centres by State governments, we are hoping to increase the country's annual production of food grains from the present 55 million tonnes to 60 million tonnes. The objectives of the department are to ensure remunerative rates for our farmers and supply of food grains at reasonable prices to the consumers through the public distribution system,” he said.

Mentioning that 83 per cent of the warehousing facilities were in the public sector and the balance in private sector, he said that the efficiency of private sector should be combined with the fundamentals of public sector to get good results.

Mr. Thomas said that through Public Private Partnership, 16.6 million tonnes of storage capacity was being created by Food Corporation of India under the Public Enterprises Guarantee Scheme in 19 States. Out of this, 1.6 million tonnes are to be constructed by Central Warehousing Corporation, State Warehousing Corporation and the remaining through private entrepreneurs.

To increase the warehousing capacity, the centre has set aside funds through the corpus of Rural Infrastructure Development Fund and Rs.2,000 crore was available.

On the Food Security Bill, he said that the draft has been sent to the Law Ministry for vetting. Efforts would be made to introduce it in the Parliament in the forthcoming session and it should become operational next year.

Mark Drabenstott, Secretary General of Global Coalition for Efficient Logistics said that they would soon launch Shipment Efficiency Assessment (SEA) in India to span the entire shipment flow to understand the strengths and bottlenecks of country's logistics pipeline.

HumaWealth programme

“This would be followed up with the launch of Asia development of HumaWealth connecting India and Asia that would provide the tools and road map to build the world's first digital trade platform to address the inefficiencies of the global logistics industry. We will train all the people in the logistics sector.

HumaWealth programme consists of digital ‘soft infrastructure' with open source technology platform, a global network of trusted companies and deployment of programmes to decrease the cost of trade and increase overall trade growth,” he said.

British Deputy High Commissioner, Mike Nithavrianakis, presented the insights on the warehousing competitiveness in the U.K. and said that commercial opportunities were enormous and both countries should address the significant opportunities for mutual benefit.

Event Chairman, R. Dinesh said warehousing in India accounted for about 20 per cent of the Indian Logistics market and was expected to grow at a rate of 35 to 40 per cent annually, displaying high potential for growth over the next few years. “It now becomes imperative for the warehousing sector to not only modernise, but also adopt best practices to achieve a world class infrastructure platform,” he said.

The occasion was marked by the release of PWC study on ‘Building Warehousing Competitiveness.'

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