Foreign Trade Policy 2005
14. Procedural Simplification and Reduction of Transaction Costs
Importers and exporters have to fill multiple application forms at various stages of their business activity to meet the procedural requirements of different Departments/Ministries under different Acts. It is our endeavor to simplify procedures and reduce the documentation requirements so as to reduce the transaction costs of the exporters and thereby increase their competitiveness in the international markets. With this in mind, a Committee to look into procedural simplification and reduction of transaction costs was set up under the Chairmanship of Director General of Foreign Trade. The Committee has submitted its report and some of the key recommendations made are:
- Internal process re-engineering to enable greater delegation and simplification of forms and documents;
- EDI linkage of all community trade partners like DGFT, Customs, Banks, Export Promotion Councils etc to facilitate web based filing, retrieval and verification of documents;
- A fast track mechanism for clearances, examination, testing, quarantine, packaging etc. to be set up by all agencies to facilitate import/export of perishable cargo;
- Laying down time limits for giving approvals/sanctions for different import and export activities by different agencies to ensure a transparent system of working in Government Departments and ensure continuous improvement in quality of services rendered.
As a first step towards this exercise, the DGFT has devised a single common application form called Aayaat Niryaat Form. This 50 page set of forms, as against the 120 page set currently in existence, provides availability of information on DGFT related documentation at a single place and has a web interface for on-line filing by the exporter and retrieval of documents by the licensing authorities.
15. Edi Initiatives
- DGFT shall strive to move towards an automated electronic environment for filing, retrieval and authentication of documents based on agreed protocols and message exchange with other community trade partners including Customs and Banks. Increased use of information technology for interacting with the trade through video conferencing, doing away with manual filing of documents by using digital signature and introducing a Special Purpose Vehicle for electronic license utilization and transfer mechanism is also envisaged. In addition, online web based information shall be made available for all Export and Import related policies and procedures on the DGFT website to enable the international trading community to access information from a single source.
- A time frame of six months for complete EDI linkage between Customs and DGFT has been specified. After completion of this project the manual submission of shipping bills and related documents will be done away with and verification of licences shall be done online which shall considerably reduce transaction costs.
- Facility of issuing Importer Exporter Code number (IEC) online is also being provided by linking the DGFT database with the Income Tax PAN database and use of digital signature technology. To add transparency in the system, other e-governance initiatives are also being planned to provide delivery of services to the user community without any human interface with the DGFT offices.