Govt to Plug Holes in Online Payment of Customs Duty to Boost Exports
New Delhi: The government plans to boost exports by plugging loopholes in online payment of customs duty and ensuring roundthe-clock customs clearance at ports and airports. This will also help India fulfil its commitments under the World Trade Organisation’s Trade Facilitation Agreement, officials said.
“We want to reduce transaction costs because exports have been declining. One such way is to streamline existing procedures through better coordination between various agencies...we have to think out of the box,” said one of the officials, who did not wish to be named. “We should use the Trade Facilitation Agreement to promote exports,” he said. The commerce department plans to extend the timings of customs clearance at ports and airports so as to reduce congestion during peak hours of 2-6 pm.“Even though there is 24x7 customs clearance, it has not completely taken off because of lack of coordination between customs and CISF. We will have to sort out traffic restrictions on truck movements to avoid delays in exports,” the official said.
However, Ajay Sahai, director general of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations, said there is need to increase manpower to implement the 24x7 procedures.,
Another step being considered is to extend the timing of online payment of customs duty, which is operational till 5.30 in the evening.