Millennium Post

ComMin engages with depts to improve ease of doing biz

The Commerce Ministry is intensely engaged with different departments, including revenue and shipping, to reduce paper work in a bid to cut transaction cost for exporters and improve ease of doing business. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), under the Commerce Ministry has prepared a report suggesting various ways to improve India's ranking in the World Bank's report of ease of doing business, reduce transactions cost for exporters and boost outward shipments.
The ministry aims at reducing the number of mandatory documents from nine to three (bill of lading, invoice and shipping bill) for exports, and from ten to four for imports.

"DGFT is regularly meeting officials of different departments including revenue and shipping to achieve this goal. Reduction in paper work would improve ease of doing business, reducing transactions costs and time and also boost India's exports," an official said.

The report, Trade Across Borders, was circulated to all the departments concerned and they have expressed commitment to help achieving targets by March 31, the official said, adding Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher has written to the departments to take actions on these recommendations.
According to exporters' body Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), these measures, if implemented, would push India's ranking within 100th from the current 126th position for doing trade across borders.

"As per our rough estimates, reduction in paper work and making all the ports EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) would help in reducing the transactions cost by about 3 per cent (about $20-25 billion) of the total $750 billion trade," FIEO Director General Ajay Sahai said.

Documents which could be dropped or merged for exports include statutory declaration form and terminal handling receipt while for imports product manual, inspection report and charter engineering certificate. The government is aiming to improve India's overall ranking in ease of doing business 
index to 50th position in the next two years from the current 142nd. 
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