Global consulting firm Frost & Sullivan has carried out a study to revamp the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) with a view to making it a vibrant body for promoting trade. DGFT under the Commerce Ministry deals with matters related to exports and imports.
“The agency has submitted its report and we are looking at that. The revamping is important against the backdrop of changing global trade scenario and implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST),” an official said.
The move assumes significance as India is aiming to increase its share in the global trade to 3.5 per cent from the current 2 per cent by 2020. According to experts, the country needs a vibrant organisation to promote its trade interests.
“We need a vibrant and independent export promotion organisation whose job is to do hand-holding to traders particularly in the small and medium sector,” said Biswajit Dhar, professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University. He cited examples of some South East Asian countries with such bodies and suggested India can take cues from them.
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Prior to 1991, the DGFT was known as the Chief Controller of Imports and Exports. Till 1991, it has been involved in the regulation and promotion of foreign trade.
DGFT is responsible for formulating and implementing the foreign trade policy with the main objective of promoting India’s exports. It also issues scrips/authorisation to exporters and monitors their corresponding obligations through a network of 36 regional offices. India’s annual merchandise trade stood at around $750 billion.