Vineet Agarwal, Joint Managing Director, TCI
With GST on the threshold of being implemented and government's interest to bring in investments in e-governance and infrastructure projects through public private partnerships (PPPs), this has been a fairly good year for the logistics industry.
Although the growth expectations are high, we do have reservations about realising that growth: poor infraÂstructure, shortage of skilled manpower, unrealistic taxes and issues related with technology. In the absence of industry status, our task becomes difficult to put forÂward our point of view in terms of taxation and reforms for the benefit of the sector.
Slow reforms: The primary factors governing the perÂformance of the logistics industry are integration, techÂnology, legislation and globalisation. We can only conÂtrol our proximity to the markets and our reach on a pan-India basis for efficient delivery system, but lack of quality infrastructure, traditional 'godowns' serving as warehouses and taxation system have been impeding the seamless groÂwth of the sector. Though there has been conscious efÂfort by government to work on these issues, the pace of the effort is far behind with respect to the growth of the industry.
We look forward to 2012 based on the initiatives taken by the government. We are awaÂiÂting the implementation of GST, as multiple tax system has been a vexing issue for the seÂctor. Also, with the organised retail gaining a stronger foothold in India, thÂeÂre is a crying need for state-of-the-art, larger warehouses.
Skilled manpower shortage: Since the sector is yet to gain industry status, skilled workforce is hard to come by, hampering our efficiency of freight handling operation. Lack of skilled workers affects efficiency of freight handling operation and TCI is expecting introÂduction of reasonably priced training courses which will teach novice students, the operational aspects of the business. Logistics industry has a huge potential to grow in rural areas and we would expect ourselves and other leading players to explore this opportunity.