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November 25, 2018

Bangla emerging as logistics hub

Bangla emerging as logistics hub

Seeking suggestions from prospective investors to make its newly-announced logistics policy even more investor-friendly, state Finance and Industry minister Amit Mitra on Saturday said Bangla, according to a report, could attract investments to the tune of about Rs 5,000 crore in the logistics hub by 2020.

“A recent report suggested that the state could attract investment of Rs 5000 crore by 2020 in logistics hubs and this would provide huge employment opportunities,” he said on the sidelines of the Logistics Colloquium 2018, organised by CII. According to the minister, the logistics hubs can create direct and indirect jobs of around 50,000. It may be mentioned that the state has recently come up with “Logistics Park Development and Promotion Policy of West Bengal 2018”.

The policy aims to create a coherent and interoperable transport and logistics network in the state by interlinking its routes, corridors, ports, airports, transport hubs and modal terminals.

The report — “Positioning West Bengal as a key Logistics Hub” — prepared by KPMG, suggested that the state has a huge potential to emerge as the logistics hub of the entire Eastern and North-Eastern region of the country. It further adds that five potential sites in Bangla offer the opportunity to develop end-to-end logistics parks with multi-modal capabilities at Dankuni, Durgapur, Tajpur, Malda city and Siliguri.

According to the report, estimates put the market size of the Bangla Logistics sector at $20 billion by 2020, with a myriad positive demand and supply side factors driving its growth.

“Bangla is also well positioned to leverage existing infrastructural strengths which includes having a waterfront of 950 kms, close to 16 per cent share of the total length of National Waterways, one of the highest road coverage, two operating international airports and one of the largest warehousing capacity in the Eastern part of the country,” the report mentions.

The minister expressed his optimism that Bangla would witness a maritime revolution with the upcoming inland waterways and deep sea port at Tajpur. “The deep sea port at Tajpur will come up on reclaimed land. However, we have 1,500 acres of land there and these land parcel can be used for setting up warehouses, logistic hubs. Kolkata and Haldia ports will be benefitted by the deep sea port,” he added.

Bangla holds 26 percent stake in the project while the rest is with the Kolkata Port Trust. Mitra emphasised that the logistics geography is “skipping forward” and the waterways have a huge scope in the state with “295 rivers” and it is one of the top states of the country in terms of density, reach and mix. He urged the industry to look at the Andal airport as a cargo hub with its zero Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) tax.