The exercise will be institutionalised on an annual basis, during the same period every year, it added.
The revenue department is conducting India’s first national Time Release Study (TRS) at 15 ports, including sea and air, with an aim to identify and address bottlenecks in the cross border trade flow process. TRS, an internationally recognised tool advocated by World Customs Organisation, is being conducted from August 1-7, the finance ministry said in a statement Thursday.
The exercise will be institutionalised on an annual basis, during the same period every year, it added. The initiative for accountable governance will measure rule-based and procedural bottlenecks (including physical touch points) in the clearance of goods, from the time of arrival until the physical release of cargo, it added.
“The aim is to identify and address bottlenecks in the trade flow process and take the corresponding policy and operational measures required to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of border procedures, without compromising efficient trade control,” the ministry said.
The expected beneficiaries will be export oriented industries and MSMEs, who will enjoy greater standardisation of Indian processes with comparable international standards. During an interaction with exporters earlier this week, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal highlighted the need to scale up India’s outward shipments to USD 1 trillion as the country was aiming to become a USD 5 trillion economy in the next few years.
The exercise will be conducted at the same time across 15 ports including sea, air, land and dry ports which cumulatively account for 81 per cent of total ‘bills of entries’ for import and 67 per cent of ‘shipping bills’ for export filed within India.
“The national TRS will establish baseline performance measurement and have standardized operations and procedures across all ports,” the ministry said. On ground, TRS is lead by the Central Board of Indirect Tax and Customs. It added that TRS will help India maintain the upward trajectory on Ease of Doing Business, particularly on the trading across borders indicator which measures the efficiency of the cross border trade ecosystem.
Last year, India’s ranking on the indicator improved from 146 to 80. Previously, individual customs formations had been independently conducting TRS at the port level. “The national TRS has taken this as a step further and evolved a uniform, multi-dimensional methodology which measures the regulatory and logistics aspects of the cargo clearance process and establishes the average release time for goods,” it said.