Vineet Agarwal, Jt MD TCIThere is an urgent need for measures to facilitate growth in ground logistics (warehousing, rail freight and cold chain logistics) and expects some solid reforms to be announced in this budget. With the proper emphasis on logistics hubs, commercial warehouses, logistics parks and with the implementation of GST, the growth of the sector will further accelerate. In drafting the Union Budget, the government should consider that while the logistics sector has gained immense significance over the years owing to increased industrial activities, it lacks industry status. The government should look at according industry status to the logistics sector. This will help the players to avail of the benefits that go with being part of an industry. We recommend setting up a separate regulatory authority for the logistics sector as it would help to coordinate between the various ministries for an integrated policy for the sector.Warehousing for non agricultural commodities should be treated at par with infrastructure projects and should enjoy similar benefits. There is need for long-term investment commitments from public and private players alike for developing warehousing facilities. It would also involve land reforms which will help in setting apart lands for logistics facilities.TCI recommends that a centralised toll mechanism is needed to ensure uniformity in the toll charges paid at various check points, leading to stoppage time reduction and greater efficiency. Documentation needs to be computerised and minimised so that fewer forms are needed to be filled at check-posts/ offices and helping eliminate agents and unauthorised payments. Another important issue that needs to be addressed is that of road safety. With the logistics boom, there is a need to develop more access-controlled expressways, as they ensure free passage for heavy vehicles as well as passenger vehicles. The future growth prospects of the Indian economy linger primarily on the infrastructure investment and timely execution of the projects. One such initiative would be to develop a huge amount of long-term amount towards infrastructure development through dedicated debt funds.