The government is willing to go an extra mile to make trading procedure more seamless and has also started amending the Customs Act to make compliance easier. This was stated by Mr Pranab Kumar Das, Member (Customs), Central Board of Excise and Customs, Ministry of Finance at the National Conference on Trade Facilitation in India: Progress and Way forward organized by CII and CBEC at New Delhi today. He stressed on the collaborative role of the government and the industry for improving trade facilitation and ease of doing business in India.
Mr Das further said that “customs clearances consume only 20% of the total dwell time, while the rest is consumed by other players in the trade ecosystem.” He also stated that a gap analysis has been undertaken by the government for complying with Category A commitments ratified by India in the Trade Facilitation Agreement. He encouraged the industry members to apply for AEO status and explained the benefits of the same. He further added that the government has made available 6 PGA testing labs at the ports and is planning to extending this facility for up to 33 testing agencies.
Mr. Binoy Kumar, Special Secretary-Logistics, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, explained the role of logistics in trade and said that the government recognizes the importance of logistics in Ease of Doing Business, Make in India as well as in the quest for economic growth, creation of jobs and increasing agricultural income. He said that “some segments of logistics such as CFS, ICDs, cold chains, warehouses etc. have been given infrastructure status which is a testimony to the government’s commitment to improve trade facilitation. He further added that department has provided inputs to the government for introduction of facilitative measures such as amendments to Customs Act etc. in the budget which would lead to reduction is documentation and further simplify the regulatory mechanisms. He maintained that bringing all stakeholders on a common digital platform will help in enhancing transparency and in reducing dwell time and costs associated with trading.
Mr. Milon K Nag, Co-chairman, CII Task Force on Ease of Doing Business, while highlighting the key reforms initiated by the government stated that more trade facilitation reformsare required to reduce the dwell time and the transaction costsof trading across borders. He further added that SWIFT, Integrated Risk Management System and Direct Port Delivery are some of the crucial reforms undertaken by the government. However, there is scope for improvement in areas such as enhancing transparency, maximizing technology and simplification of the AEO procedure, among others, he added.
17 May 2018