As part of a plan to develop standards in various facets of the logistics sector, Union Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Thursday an index for states to compete in performance on this count is being developed.

With the sector composed of multiple components like railways, ports, airports and roads, a division was created in the Commerce Ministry last year and mandated to develop an action plan for the integrated development of the sector.

“A Logistics Index is being developed for every state so that they can compete in this area,” Prabhu said at the Global Logistics Summit here organised by industry chamber Ficci.

“With many ministries deal with logistics, the need was felt for a nodal, coordinating agency for synergy among its various segments,” he said, adding that also a the current Civil Aviation Minister, he has been discussing for increasing air connectivity for the speedier air transport of perishable items.

“The challenge for us is how to integrate these various modes into one actionable the multi-modal transport issue is now being addressed by this new logistics division under the Commerce Ministry,” he said.

The division is also setting up an IT backbone and develop an information portal which will be also an online marketplace for bringing together the various stakeholders, including state government agencies.

Prabhu had said earlier this year that high logistics costs in India were affecting its export competitiveness and that all states should have separate export policies, with 14 states having already prepared theirs.

The government has drafted an Agricultural Export Policy that has been put in the public domain inviting suggestions and comments.