Arunachal Pradesh Logistics Policy

The Arunachal Pradesh Cabinet’s approval of the formulation of the Arunachal Pradesh Logistics Policy in alignment with the PM Gati Shakti Framework is seen as an effort to attracting major logistics players to the state.
Arunachal Pradesh Logistics Policy

 The Arunachal Pradesh Cabinet’s approval of the formulation of the Arunachal Pradesh Logistics Policy in alignment with the PM Gati Shakti Framework is seen as an effort to attracting major logistics players to the state. The policy aims at “Augmenting integrated, multi-modal, logistics ecosystem for a developed Arunachal Pradesh 2047”. Implementation of the policy should ensure that development of logistics is sustainable in the fragile ecology of the state, which is also a key asset of the state. Accelerated development of road connectivity in the border state has unlocked new business opportunities for the people of the state. The Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) 2022 report identified key constraints in the development of logistics in the northeast region. These are: The geographical positioning, terrain, resource base and economic activity at large act as natural deterrents to development of a robust logistics infrastructure and its effective management. Limited access points, mostly via the (inefficient) ecosystems in West Bengal and centred primarily around Assam within the NER, only increase time and cost of cargo movement to/from the region. Lack of major industries/ production centres across the entire region discourages logistics infrastructure development, and the States’ difficult terrain makes operation and management of logistics challenging. The report pointed out that the region being a consumption-based economy with little to offer for return cargo makes it a high-cost logistics territory. Within the NER Cluster, it also highlighted that Arunachal Pradesh secured below average scores on all the indicators across Quality of Infrastructure, Reliability of Logistics Services and Operating and Regulatory Environment indicators. Besides, “Quality of Rail and Terminal and Warehousing Infrastructure has been rated low and are perceived to be key areas for improvement. Timeliness of Cargo delivery at Terminals, track and trace cargo movement and Safety and Security of Cargo has been rated low and identified as key challenge amongst Reliability of Logistics service indicators. ” State has been rated low on the Extent of Facilitation, Ease of obtaining approvals, Grievance redressal mechanism indicators amongst the NER-Cluster and State needs to take pro-active measures for addressing and improving the perception of the trade“, it adds. The geopolitics in the region, which led to landlocked situations of North-eastern states, need to be taken into account while discussing the logistics ecosystem of the region. With China disputing its border with India along Arunachal Pradesh, which is an illogical and unjust position by the neighbouring country, the development activities in the state are always looked through security lenses. This explains why the state lagged behind logistics and graded as aspirer, while Sikkim has been graded fast mover and Assam graded as achiever in the LEADs Report. While geographical positioning is seen as a deterrent from the perspective of container trade and logistics, when viewed from the ecocultural tourism perspective Arunachal Pradesh and other NE states have more opportunities that are yet to be tapped, which very few states with developed logistics can match. This brings into the centre stage of the policy discourse the importance of pushing digital connectivity along with physical connectivity to facilitate digital business models to tap the potential of ecocultural tourism. The development of eco-cultural tourism can augment household income and also ensure conservation of nature and environment. Improved road and air connectivity can bring in more ecocultural tourists to the state and strengthen the revenue base of the state and contribute to the economy. Therefore, if development of logistics is pushed aggressively with the objective of sending a return cargo of industrial products from the state to other regions without taking care of the ecology, then it may end up even destroying the untapped potential of sustainable ecocultural tourism. Arunachal Pradesh also has huge opportunities in carbon trading, but for that it will have to ensure that its carbon, which is the highest in the country, is kept preserved, to derive the potential economic benefits. If the forest cover is lost due to rampant and indiscriminate clearing of forest for creating large logistics infrastructure, then Arunachal Pradesh will lose the opportunity to convert the geographic constraints into economic opportunities through carbon trading. Cost and benefits of developing large logistical infrastructure and that of the scope of carbon trading need to be placed before all stakeholders, to discuss in threadbare the logistical policy components and arrive at a pragmatic decision. The Northeast Region lost more than 3600 sq. km of forest cover in 10 years from 2011 to 2021, with 27 % of it just two years between 2019 and 2021. Arunachal Pradesh lost about 979 sq. km during this ten-year period. Arunachal Pradesh developing at an accelerated pace is critical for economic uplift of the people, better access to health and education in the state. Choosing the right development is crucial for its sustainability. Arunachal Pradesh’s logistics policy addressing this aspect of development will determine the future pathway.

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