North-eastern states have over 45 million population, which is 3.76 % of India's population. The seven Northeast states contributed 2.8 per cent in 2019-2020. Logistics infrastructure and connectivity would enable further GDP growth. The increasing strength of logistics infrastructure in eight north-eastern states is demonstrated through 17 air cargo terminals, more than 2.5 lakhs MT cold storage capacity, rapidly growing road and rail infrastructure. While one NE state has logistics policy and other state is in formulation stage, six states are yet to draw their plans to build logistics plans.
Establishing Logistics capitals in north-eastern region is now a reality with two multimodal logistics parks under development in Tripura and Assam. The logistics ecosystem rapidly evolves around well-connected supply chains. Attracting and sustaining private investments in Logistics is key to build such Logistics capitals. As an eastern gateway, logistics capitals can thrive as transhipment and trading hubs with south-east Asia.
The Central Government’s emphasis on NE states development is highlighted with establishment of Ministry of Development of north-eastern Region. More than Rs.26,000 crores project funding has been sanctioned through various Government schemes for NE region till end-August 2021. Prime Minister launched PM Gati Shakti - National Master Plan for Multi-modal Connectivity, essentially a digital platform to bring 16 Ministries including Railways and Roadways together for integrated planning and coordinated implementation of infrastructure connectivity projects. The multi-modal connectivity will provide integrated and seamless connectivity for movement of people, goods and services from one mode of transport to another. It’s important to focus on examining the first mile and last mile gaps in NE supply chains. Well-connected supply chains will unlock economic benefits through cost, volume and innovation opportunities. Combined with well-established relationships with Bangladesh and south-east Asia offer greater potential to NE states to become Eastern Gateway.
Multimodal logistics, especially in hilly regions demand refined skill sets for transportation and distribution. Development of such unique skill set requires sustained support from the Governments and active participation from private sector. Growing population, trade and demand drives the growth of warehouses. Establishment of sustainable modern warehouses requires proactive planning and investments. The World Bank supported project (2020-26, USD 150 million) in Meghalaya provides much needed emphasis on such futuristic investments for logistics network and ecosystem development in north-eastern region.
Addressing these, CII plans to organise NE Logistics Conclave with a theme Building Logistics Capitals.
This conference aims to determine key drivers for accelerating logistics development in north-eastern states. Deliberations during the conference will explore approaches to bridge the first and last mile gaps in supply chains, facilitating balanced logistics ecosystem growth, strengthening the logistics human capital.