New Delhi: Concerned over procedural delays in exports and imports, the government has decided to initiate a joint exercise by officials from the ministries of finance and shipping for expediting the clearance process.
The decision was taken at a meeting of a committee chaired by Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia earlier this month, an official said.
The meeting was attended by top officials of Central Board of Excise and Customs, Railway Board, shipping and Airport Authority of India.
A joint exercise will be carried out by the Department of Revenue and the Shipping Ministry and they would also monitor the time taken in the clearance process of exports and imports particularly at Jawaharlal Nehru Port, Tughlakabad Inland Container Depot and Mundra Port.
"Delays at every stage would be addressed in a timebound manner," the official said, adding that an institutionalised reporting system on time taken for the clearances would be put in place for regular reporting.
According to a World Bank report, the average time taken for export and import goods at Mumbai is 6.2 days and 15.8 days respectively. While it was only 0.8 days (for exports) and 0.5 days (for imports) in OECD countries.
More time in clearances increases the transactions cost and time for traders, impacting exports as well as imports.
Exporters body FIEO said that reduction in both transactions cost and time would help in boosting exports, which are in negative zone since December 2014.
Exports of electrical machinery and equipment and imports of all auto components would be monitored particularly by the officials.
During the April-February period of the current fiscal, cumulative exports declined 16.73 percent to USD 238.41 billion, as against USD 286.3 billion in the same months of 2014-15.
Imports too dipped 14.74 percent to USD 351.8 billion in the 11-month period, leaving a trade deficit of USD 113.38 billion. The trade gap was USD 126.29 billion in the same period of 2014-15.