Budget 2024: As the country’s economic growth surges, the logistics industry seeks substantial support in the upcoming interim budget, scheduled to be presented by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1, 2024. Some of the key expectations from the incumbent government, which has been in power for the past two terms, include strategic investments for better infrastructure, policy initiatives fostering efficiency, and incentives to boost last-mile connectivity. Sandeep Kulkarni, Chief Operating Officer, Allcargo Gati Limited (formerly GATI) said that as the country’s economic growth is gaining accelerated momentum and the key sectors are witnessing strong domestic and global demands, the logistics industry requires a robust infrastructure and policy push from the interim budget to build superior operational and efficiency to meet the growing demand and enhance overall competitiveness in the global logistics landscape. Kulkarni believes that as the country is making significant progress towards becoming a global manufacturing hub, the logistics industry has an enabling role to play to catalyse the rise. In addition, an efficient logistics infrastructure and operational framework will eventually strengthen the ease of doing business narrative. Apart from continuing the capex push for multimodal transport infrastructure development consistent with National Logistics Policy, the budget needs to propose incentives in terms of tax benefits to attract private sector investments to strengthen last-mile connectivity in the form of building warehousing and transportation networks. As the growth of the digital economy is driving e-commerce progress, the budget should propose measures, provisions or policy support which will encourage new-age data-driven technology adoption to enhance supply chain agility, responsiveness and resilience, said Kulkarni. “With environmental sustainability emerging as a dominant theme in the logistics and supply chain industry and more and more logistics companies adopting the principles of green logistics, the interim budget needs to propose incentives to encourage renewable energy adoption, EV deployment, etc,” Kulkarni added.