DGFT to revamp services through new digital platform

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on July 10, 2020 Published on July 10, 2020

Will cater to import-export code issuance in the first phase

The Directorate-General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) is set to revamp its services through a new digital platform starting next week. The move is aimed at eventually providing exporters the option of a single online registration for all benefits significantly cutting down paperwork and transaction time.

“In the first phase of the launch, scheduled on July 13, the Web site will cater to services related to IEC (import-export code) issuance, modification and amendment processes. There will also be a chatbot catering to queries of users,” an official told BusinessLine.

In the subsequent phases, other services linked to popular schemes such as Advance Authorisation and Export Promotion Capital Goods and the export obligation discharge of importers, will be rolled out, the official added.

There are also plans to link registrations on the Web site with Aadhaar which would significantly bring down the incidence of frauds and ensure that the deserving get the benefits.

The DGFT move is in line with the government’s overall effort to improve India’s ranking in the World Bank's Trading Across Borders parameter of its Doing Business Report. Last month, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) launched a secure QR coded Shipping Bill that would be electronically sent to exporters after the Customs allows export. The move is aimed to do away with the requirement of the exporters having to approach the Customs officers for proof of export. India’s ranking in the Trading Across Borders category of World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index improved to 68th last year, from 80th out of a total of 190 countries.

Ajay Sahai, Director-General, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), said: “Our members have had the opportunity to look at the Web site and most have given a very positive feedback. In the first phase, it wouldn’t have much impact on existing exporters as it would deal mostly with IEC issuance, but subsequently as other schemes are rolled out, it would be immensely useful as the Web site seems absolutely seamless. It is a big improvement over earlier versions.”

Sahai said that once everything moved digitally, there would be no need for paperwork which will also bring down transaction time and costs.

Access to the services under the DGFT digital platform (which remains the existing DGFT Website) would be through a username and password-based system. Users will have to link their login IDs to their specific IECs. The process of linking would be available post login through digital signature or Aadhaar based e-sign.

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Published on July 10, 2020
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