For promoting ease of doing business and providing quick access to information to importers/exporters, India’s ministry of commerce and industry has launched a Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) Trade Facilitation Mobile App. The app, developed by Tata Consultancy Services, can be downloaded from the DGFT website for both Android and iOS platforms.
“Very often, the simple trade-related process becomes cumbersome, and when they are available with a touch of a button, like with a mobile app, we will ensure the ease of doing business and the speedy growth in international trade,” minister of commerce and industry Piyush Goyal said while launching the app during an online video conference.
“We desire to move towards paperless, automated processing systems, simple procedures for trade players, online data exchange between departments & digital payments & acknowledgements,” he added.
Lauding the initiative of DGFT, Goyal said that the new Trade Facilitation App is a step in the right direction as it provides easy, omni-channel access to various trade related processes and enquiries at the touch of a button. He said that truly imbibing Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Minimum Government, Maximum Governance’, DGFT is standing up for businesses as a true leader with e-issuance of certificates, QR scan process to validate documents. It will reduce transaction cost and time for imports and exports related processes, and usher in transparency. He said that ‘Trade Facilitation Mobile App’ is a symbol of India’s idea of Aatmanirbharta – Making governance easy, economical and accessible, as it symbolises shift in traditional thinking.
The Trade facilitation App is ready for Industry 4.0 as it provides: real-time trade policy updates, notifications, application status alert, tracking help requests; explore item-wise Export-Import policy and statistics, Track IEC Portfolio; AI-based 24×7 assistance for trade queries; DGFT services made accessible to all—anytime and anywhere.
In an online interaction after the launch in an conversation Abhijeet Sinha expressed his views from users’s prospective of this application in trade:
” Its important to value time and cost that we spend on trade compliance during export-import and technology has a vital role to reduce them for Ease of Doing Business in trade transactions. It was very much needed to have a 24X7 assistance for trade, we had helpline numbers but documentations and certificates were still taking time. This mobile app gives 24X7 assistance for trade & certification, e-issuance and QR code based validation of documents makes authorisation easy anytime anywhere.” says Abhijeet Sinha, National Program Director, Ease of Doing Business division at Advance Services for Social and Administrative Reforms.
He also mentioned that in Sep 2019 Digital certificate of origin system was unveiled for Steel. Certificate of Origin in steel is used to certify that the export products are obtained, produced or manufactured in India and required to produce during trade to claim the tariff and other benefits. But its yet yo be included in the application, we are commissioning a EoDB pilot with Steel Industry for its complete digitisation and accessibility through the mobile application for steel users and exporters to register online and get e-issuance of its certificate for export; which can be authorised with QR code validation and make the process easy for exporters.