11, January 2018

  1. Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) index

Source: The Hindu

The Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) index, a perception-based index of mobility of goods and efficiency of logistics chain, has been released.

LEADS Index:

  • The Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) index is a composite indicator to assess international trade logistics across states and Union territories. It is based on a stakeholders’ survey conducted by Deloitte for the ministry of commerce and industry. LEADS is loosely based on the World Bank’s biannual Logistics Performance Index (LPI), on which India was ranked 35 among 160 countries in 2016, up from 54 in 2014.
  • LEADS is based on eight parameters such as infrastructure, services, timeliness, track and trace, competitiveness of pricing, safety of cargo, operating environment and regulatory process.

Performance of states:

  • While Gujarat topped the first-of-its-kind index, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh took the second and third positions, respectively.
  • The study found that supply chain efficiencies and economies of scale are yet to be unlocked, mostly due to suboptimal investment in building scale in infrastructure, automation, human capital and technology. It also highlighted problems such as inadequate terminal capacity, poor last-mile terminal connectivity and issues in regulatory services provided by government agencies, among others. It also underlined issues specific to certain states.
  • In a major push to developing an integrated logistics framework in the country, including industrial parks, cold chains and warehousing facilities, the government in November granted infrastructure status to the logistics sector, enabling the industry to access cheaper finances. The government also created the position of a special secretary in the commerce ministry to exclusively handle logistics.

What needs to be done?

  • The report has identified focus areas where action can help improve. Regulation through cumbersome rules, rigid slabs for rail cargo, poor customs facilities and frequent stoppages have been flagged as challenges.
  • Similarly, it has suggested that digitisation and last mile connectivity, specially road links to ports and airports, or inadequate capacity at ports in addtion to lack of grievance mechanism, need to be addressed.

  1. Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme

Source: PIB

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval to continuation of Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) till the term of the 14th Finance Commission i.e. 31.03.2020.

MPLAD scheme:

  • It was launched in December, 1993, to provide a mechanism for the Members of Parliament to recommend works of developmental nature for creation of durable community assets and for provision of basic facilities including community infrastructure, based on locally felt needs.
  • Works, developmental in nature, based on locally felt needs and always available for the use of the public at large, are eligible under the scheme. Preference under the scheme is given to works relating to national priorities, such as provision of drinking water, public health, education, sanitation, roads, etc.
  • Funds are released in the form of grants in-aid directly to the district authorities. The funds released under the scheme are non-lapsablee. The liability of funds not released in a particular year is carried forward to the subsequent years, subject to eligibility.
  • The MPs have a recommendatory role under the scheme. They recommend their choice of works to the concerned district authorities who implement these works by following the established procedures of the concerned state government. The district authority is empowered to examine the eligibility of works sanction funds and select the implementing agencies, prioritise works, supervise overall execution, and monitor the scheme at the ground level.
  • The Lok Sabha Members can recommend works in their respective constituencies. The elected members of the Rajya Sabha can recommend works anywhere in the state from which they are elected. Nominated members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha may select works for implementation anywhere in the country.



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