Economic Times: November, 2016
New Delhi: The government plans to bring on a single online platform about 200 agencies that issue certificates to exporters to help them avail duty benefits at the destination or importing country, another move aimed at improving ease of doing business in India.
The platform will ensure exporters are issued certificates in hours as against the current practice when they have to wait for weeks to receive a certificate.
Depending on India’s bilateral or multilateral trade agreement, there are a host of organisations that issue certificate of origin to exporters. These certificates establish that the goods are made locally and are not third country goods routed via India to claim duty concessions from importing countries. “The plan is to have a common portal by next year so that the cost to exporter reduces and it becomes easy to verify the authenticity of a certificate of origin,” said an official aware of the development.
At present, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, the Export Inspection Council (EIC), various commodity boards, export promotion councils, the Federation of Indian Export Organisations, and industry chambers at national and city level issue these certificates. The initial thought is to entrust the EIC with the task of developing the portal and integrating all data. All issuing agencies will get a login and password with which they can give the authorisation to establish the rules of origin, which determine the country of source of exports and make them eligible for benefits. The move will help track consignments, especially those that are stuck in disputes and help maintain a database of exports claiming such benefits.
Rationalise Transactions Costs
The move makes perfect sense. We do need to rationalise transactions costs and boost exports. And plan to leverage information technology to proactively improve ease of doing business for exporters will deliver results sooner rather than later. An online platform for issuance of certificates is required to cut down on delays and manage timely supplies. In many sectors, including segments like ready-made garments, delays can mean change of fashion and the real risk of loss of business. In tandem, we need to boost investment in logistics and infrastructure to make India a global production hub.