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Thursday, Jan 29, 2004

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e-fund transfer facility for exporters launched

Our Bureau

New Delhi , Jan. 28

EXPORTERS from the country can now file their export/import applications online, with the Government today launching a digital signature and electronic fund transfer facility.

In order to encourage electronic filing of applications, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has reduced the licence fee to 50 per cent if the exporters submit the digitally signed applications and pay licence fee online.

Exporters can log on to to use the new facility, launched here by Mr Arun Jaitley, Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, according to an official statement.

The DGFT has tied up with Safescrypt, a licensed digital signature certifying authority, to providing technical and related support for the electronic data interchange (EDI) network.

It has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank for providing electronic fund transfer facility for depositing the import/export license fee. A similar MoU is expected to be signed with State Bank of India too. With this facility, exporters will not be required to submit paper applications while interacting with DGFT.

"Such e-commerce initiatives will not only reduce transaction costs for the exporting community, but also impart greater transparency and reduce discretion while availing various benefits under the Exim Policy," the statement said.

All 33 DGFT offices are computerised and networked through high-speed VSATs or leased lines. Online chat facility with DGFT on important Exim policy issues is also possible on a monthly basis.

The importer-exporter code number (IEC), a pre-requisite for undertaking commercial import/export activity, is being transmitted online to customers on a real time basis, the statement said.

EDI message exchange facility on import/export data from 23 EDI custom ports has also been initiated with customs and DGCI&S to reduce the time lag in compilation of trade statistics, while such a facility for transmission of shipping bill data on export promotion schemes such as DEPB is available.

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