Concerned over mismatch in the export values declared by exporters and those registered by banks providing them forex services, the Reserve Bank is planning to set up an automated and unified data processing and monitoring system for all exports from the country.
The new system would also be used for reporting of serious cases of default by exporters and other entities and to forward these cases to the customs and excise departments for for further action, a senior official said.
The move comes at a time when several export and import firms in the country have come under the scanner of DRI (Directorate of Revenue Intelligence) and other financial intelligence agencies for stating wrong information in their invoices and declarations about export value and goods.
The current system for processing of export data follows mostly a declaration-based regime, wherein exporters declare the export value to the custom authority at the time of shipment for verification and certification of the same.
Once the goods get shipped, the exporters have to lodge the relevant forms applicable in their case along with shipping documents with their Authorised Forex Dealer banks for handling of the export documents and realisation of the declared value.
After the documents are sent for collection, AD anks report the transaction to RBI. Under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), it is obligatory on exporters to realise and repatriate the full value of the exports within stipulated time and and the amount of full export value needs to be received through an Authorised Dealer bank (AD).
However, several irregularities have come to the fore in the recent past in these declarations and there have been several instances of mis-match between the declared value and the amount processed by the banks.
Presently, RBI receives the export data based on he exporters' declarations through customs and other agencies and the same is also reported by the ADs as and when exporters submit the export documents or the export amount is realised through the banks.
RBI then matches these transactions and generates the unmatched list of transactions to forward them to its concerned departments and banks for follow-up with the exporters.
Due to the huge volume of the data coupled with errors of data entry at multiple places, it has been observed that the large number of transactions remain unmatched one to one, the official said.
With a view to removing the bottlenecks in this exercise, RBI has now decided to implement a revamped procedure of data capturing, transfer and follow up through a new Export Data Processing and Monitoring System.
The proposed system would look to harmonise the data fields received in various forms and substitute the various formats with a new format to be called Export Declaration Form (EDF) to be used by all exporters. This would be done irrespective of the fact that the items for export are goods or software or if the export is done through non-EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) enabled port.
It will also automate the procedures for receiving, processing and maintaining of export data received from customs, STPI (Software Technology Park of India), SEZs (Special Economic Zones) in a secure manner.
Besides, the new system would allow the banks to upload and update receipt of documents and export proceeds directly in the RBI system and would provide for reporting of serious cases of default, including forwarding them to the customs and excise departments for necessary action, if any.