E-commerce exports catch government attention, reforms on card to eliminate issues

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Updated: May 30, 2019 1:05:30 PM

DPIIT will be setting up four working groups in a month comprising of industry and government officials to address challenges for exporters selling their goods through online channels.

The decision was taken in a meeting held on Wednesday with the officials from the RBI, India Post, LocalCircles, Amazon India, eBay India, PayPal India and IIFT. (Image: Reuters)

Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) will be setting up four working groups in a month comprising of industry and government officials to address challenges for exporters selling their goods through online channels.

The decision was taken in a meeting held on Wednesday with the officials from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India Post, LocalCircles, Amazon India, eBay India, PayPal India and Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, sources privy to the matter told Financial Express Online.

“Government is taking this (e-commerce exports) on priority as it is a mammoth opportunity worth $450 billion but India has to eliminate the bottlenecks that exporters face today. Working groups will be formed over the next month to focus on addressing bottlenecks to grow e-commerce exports multifold. India has strengths in areas such as Ayurveda, leather, handicrafts and we must leverage it,” LocalCircles Founder and Chairman Sachin Taparia told Financial Express Online.

DPIIT is the coordinating body and is roping in RBI, Customs department and India Post for the matter.

The key areas being discussed and to be addressed by working groups include increasing inward remittances limit on invoice value, enhancing duration for the realisation of exports proceeds, setting up a centre of excellence for quick online onboarding of exporters etc.

“For example, the realisation of exports proceeds to be sent back to India currently has to be done within nine months from the date of exports. But what if exporter faces a slowdown in sales? Hence, this should be extended to 18-24 months,” said Taparia.

India post is another big area of reform that is in focus. It has to cut its speed post delivery prices to one third so that rates are at par with China Post and hence become competitive globally, added Taparia.

Other areas include post offices in top 50 exporting districts where there will be a dedicated desk for all e-commerce shipments abroad. Also, there has to India Post integration with the US, the UK, European postal systems etc to track shipments.

India Post currently has 3 such post offices and is scaling to 28, the source said.

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