Trade policy to focus on easing procedural bottlenecks

Arun S. New Delhi | Updated on November 15, 2017 Published on April 03, 2012

Move to systemise e-Bank Realisation Certificate to cut delays

The Commerce Ministry is likely to resort to “major” procedural simplifications in the forthcoming annual supplement to the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP).

It has opted for this strategy as there is hardly any fiscal headroom to provide sops to exporters.

One of the key initiatives on the cards is doing away with exporters having to produce a hard copy of the Bank Realisation Certificate (BRC).

BRC is documentary proof that exporters have realised their export proceeds.

Currently, exporters have to obtain the BRC hard copy from their banks and submit it to the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT, under the Commerce Ministry) to avail themselves of the benefits under various schemes.

However, exporters have often complained of difficulties and delay in obtaining the BRC hard copy. In several instances, even after the BRC hard copy and its scanned soft copy is submitted, the DGFT verifies its authenticity by cross-checking with banks, leading to further delays.

Noting these problems, the Commerce Ministry may announce a decision to replace the BRC hard copy with e-BRC (the electronic version).

Explaining how it works, an official said as and when exporters realise the proceeds of their shipments in their bank accounts, their banks will have to automatically send the e-BRC to a new system electronically.

The new system is being put in place by the DGFT, and pilot tests have already begun, the official added.

The DGFT and the Department of Financial Services in the Finance Ministry had held several rounds of talks to set up the new system.

Following that, on the recommendation of the Indian Banks' Association (comprising 166 public, private, foreign and urban co-operative banks), the Government had entrusted the foundation work for the new system to IDBI Intech (IDBI Bank's wholly-owned subsidiary for IT services related to the banking and financial services sector).

Official sources claimed that the procedural simplifications will lead to a “quantum jump” in India-related foreign trade and boost e-commerce.

“e-BRC will help reduce the number of visits by exporters to banks. It will also strengthen the DGFT's Electronic Data Interchange System,” Mr Ajay Sahai, the Director-General and CEO of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations, said.

> arun.s@thehindu.co.in

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Published on April 03, 2012
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