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CII lays stress on supply chain competency

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Mr Ashok Soota, CII President and Chairman and CEO, MindTree Consulting Pvt Ltd, Mr N. Kumar, Chairman, CII Institute of Logistics & Chairman, Sanmar Group, and Mr T. Kannan, Chairman, CII (SR) and Managing Director, Thiagarajar Mills, at the launch of the CII Institute of Logistics in Chennai on Thursday.

CHENNAI, Oct. 31

THE growth in the manufacturing sector has been held back by the tyranny of infrastructure, especially in key areas such as logistics, according to Mr Ashok Soota, President, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Mr Soota was speaking at the launch of CII's Institute of Logistics here on Thursday.

He said that the principal objective of the CII was to enhance the competitiveness of India Inc and the key sectors of the economy, which impact the country's growth.

He said that enhancing competitiveness would mean adopting a two-pronged strategy. The first would be industry action to take initiatives to benchmark with best internal normal and improved competitiveness.

The second part consists of Government action, which would include policy, reforms and external sector reforms.

The CII President said that besides improving manufacturing competitiveness in the era of fast-paced integration of the global trading system and shifting of global manufacturing bases to Asian countries, India's overall supply chain competency would play an important role in increasing the country's share to one per cent of the total world exports.

He said that there was no reason why Chennai, with three major ports, could not become a logistics hub in South Asia on par with Dubai and Singapore.

Logistics has long been an Achilles heel for the manufacturing sector and the CII Institute would go a long way in addressing this need, Mr Soota said.

Mr N. Kumar, Chairman, CII Institute of Logistics, said that supply chain was gaining visibility as a crucial competitive weapon. He said this centre of excellence was a latent need of the industry as the need for trained personnel was growing.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr B. Sridhar, Chairman, CII, Working group on ports, said that besides this initiative, the CII also planned to come out with a shipping freight index, which would give all the freight rates ex-India and would benefit industry.

Later, talking to newspersons, he said that in the third quarter, the Indian economy seemed to have turned the corner.

He said that despite the drought and the late rains, the impact was not more than .05 per cent. So the GDP growth would be around 5-5.5 per cent. This was because it had been a good year for the manufacturing sector, he said.

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