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CWC Must Provide Holistic Solutions Including Testing Facilities To Cut Logistics Cost: Goyal

Goyal exhorted the CWC to aim for exponential growth in the next 5 years and increase its storage capacity significantly from the current 130 lakh tonnes.

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Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday asked state-owned firm Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) to modernise its facilities and provide comprehensive services like testing labs to reduce logistics cost and boost farmers income.

Addressing the 65th foundation day of the CWC, the minister asked the corporation to complete all 177 projects that have been sanctioned since 2014 to add 14 lakh tonnes of storage capacity and also set a target for exponential growth in the next five years.

Goyal, who is also Railways and Commerce Minister, expressed concerns over the higher logistics cost in India compared to other countries.

'The logistics cost has become competitive across the world,' he said.

The minister said that the logistics cost in India is 13-14 per cent of the total value of the products as compared with 7-8 per cent in other countries.

Goyal said India becomes uncompetitive because of this reason and cheaper products from other countries flooded the country.

The minister said that the CWC should collaborate with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and Quality Control of India to provide 'holistic solutions' at its warehouses.

Goyal said the CWC should provide services such as measuring and testing facilities, which will not only boost the demand of warehouses but reduce the logistics cost, thereby benefitting both farmers and industry.

The minister complimented the CWC for its contribution to the distribution of foodgrains during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Goyal said the CWC is expected to post a record turnover of Rs 1,800-1900 crore this financial year and also distribute a record dividend.

The CWC achieved the highest ever turnover of about Rs 1,710 crore during 2019-20.

Goyal said the demand for warehousing infrastructure is increasing.

He said the CWC's warehouses should provide a safety net to farmers by providing storage facilities at a reasonable price and helping farmers in achieving better price realisation for their produce.

Goyal exhorted the CWC to aim for exponential growth in the next 5 years and increase its storage capacity significantly from the current 130 lakh tonnes.

The minister said that the CWC should fulfil the warehousing need of the country through the partnership with private sector enterprises.

In this regard, he referred to the remark of CWC's MD who explained that monetisation is not a programme to sell the country's wealth.

Goyal said public and private sector firms should work together to improve efficiency and output. They must learn from each other.

'Let's not limit our vision by any constraints whatsoever,' he told the CWC officials.

The minister said the CWC should reinvent the organisation and also re-examine the way it functions as part of its overall aim to become an entity of global standard.