Minister of commerce and industry and consumer affairs Piyush Goyal recently said the inputs offered by the Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) Report 2021 can lead the way to bring down logistics cost by 5 per cent over the next five years. Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab have emerged as the top performers in the LEADS 2021 index respectively.

Within the north-eastern states and the Himalayan region, Jammu and Kashmir is the top ranker followed by Sikkim and Meghalaya. Delhi stands at the top rank among other union territories. Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand have witnessed a remarkable improvement in their ranks compared to 2019 LEADS ranking and have emerged as the top improvers.

Goyal said India is committed to building modern infrastructure for the 21st century at a pace never seen before. The recently-launched PM GatiShakti Master Plan, he said, would revolutionise the next generation of multimodal infrastructure development in the country.

He said that the speed of highway construction has increased three-fold from around 12 km/day in 2013-14 to 37 km/day in 2020-21 and there was a four-fold rise in Railways’ capital expenditure from Rs. 54,000 crore in 2013-14 to Rs. 2.15 lakh crore in 2021-22, according to an official release.

He observed that in the five years before 2014, only 60 panchayats could be connected with optical fibre, whereas in the last seven years, more than 1.5 lakh gram panchayats have been connected with optical fibre. He was addressing a gathering after the release of the LEADS Report in New Delhi.

The first edition of the report, LEADS 2018, focused on export-import trade and assessed the efficiency of the logistics ecosystem in each state and union territory. The second edition in 2019 covered both international and domestic trade.

The LEADS 2021 exercise has gone one-step ahead in analysing domestic and export-import logistics ecosystem of the state.

The report consists of specific section on states and union territories giving detailed analysis of their performance in the LEADS, including issues and challenges being faced by stakeholders as well as suggestions to mitigate the issues.