Major initiatives & accomplishments of DOC-2016

Department of Commerce
Department of Commerce

Vision and Mission: The long-term vision of the Department is to make India a major player in the world trade by 2020 and assume a role of leadership in the international trade organisations commensurate with India’s growing importance. DOC’s goal is to increase India’s exports of merchandise and services from the present level of 465.9 billion USD (2013-14) to approximately 900 billion USD by 2019-20 and raise India’s share in world exports from present 2% to 3.5%.

Strategic Initiatives and Priorities

  • Diversification of export product basket
  • Diversification into non-traditional markets and conclusion of ongoing FTA negotiations and initiating new FTAs
  • Strengthening export related infrastructure
  • Enhancing credit flows for exports at lower cost
  • Reducing Transaction Costs
  • Diversification of Services exports
  • Building up a Brand Image of India
  • Support to Plantation Sector
  • Protection to sensitive domestic industries

            Improved export performance

  • After negative growth for 18 successive months since December 2014, export recorded positive growth in June 2016.
  • September, October and November 2016 saw positive growth in exports. Export from April to November 2016 is valued at US $ 174.9 billion against US $ 174.7 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2015.
  • With falling international crude prices and import of gold recording a significant decline, trade deficit had been in single digits for all successive months starting from January 2016.

Government E-Marketplace (GeM) – was launched in August, 2016 and became   fully      functional by October, 2016.Presently more than 4000 products in 86 categories and hiring of transport service are available on GeM POC portal. More than 1600 product sellers and service providers and about 1500 Government officials are currently are registered on GeM. Transactions for more than Rs45 Crore have already been processed on GeM. Purchases done through GeM so far, have indicated a reduction in prices to the tune of 10-20%, and in some cases even upto 56%. GeM is a tool to promote Maximum Governance Minimum Government, Make in India, Ease of Doing Business and Digital India. By providing timely payment to vendors GeM not only ensures competitive rates but also encourages small business units/individuals to do business with government organizations.

            Trade Facilitation Agreement

  • The WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement represents an important milestone by creating an international framework for reducing trade costs. The Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) contains provisions for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit. It also sets out measures for effective co-operation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues. These objectives are in consonance with India’s “Ease of Doing Business” initiative.
  • As part of Special & Differential Treatment, Developing Countries and least Developed Countries (LDCs) has to categorise all the provisions under Category “A”, “B” or “C”.  Category “A” commitments are those commitments which the notifying Country has to fulfil at the time TFA comes into force. Category “B” are those commitments for which notifying Country can ask for a transition time and for the implementation of category “C” commitments Developing and LDCs are entitled to get Technical assistance.
  • After the approval from Cabinet in February 2016, India Notified its category “A” commitments to WTO under the (TFA) in March, 2016 and later on ratified it in April, 2016. Approximately 70% of the total provisions given under TFA has been notified as category “A”. India has not categorised any provisions under category “C”.
  • The Cabinet has also approved the setting up of a National Committee on Trade Facilitation(NCTF) to facilitate both domestic coordination and implementation of the provisions under the Chairpersonship of Cabinet Secretary.

            Signing of MOU with GSTN on data sharing

  • DGFT on Oct 27, 2016 signed an MOU with the Goods and Services Network (GSTN) for sharing of foreign exchange realisation and Import Export code data. This will strengthen processing of export transactions of taxpayers under GST, increase transparency and reduce human interface.
  • DGFT has signed MOUs with 14 state governments 2 central government agencies and GSTN for sharing of the data. At the state level, Commercial Tax Departments of 14 states have signed MoU with DGFT for receiving e-BRC data for VAT refund purposes. These are: (i) Maharashtra, (ii) Delhi, (iii) Andhra Pradesh,(iv) Odisha, (v) Chhattisgarh,  (vi) Haryana, (vii)  Tamil Nadu,  (viii) Karnataka,  (ix) Gujarat, (x)  Uttar Pradesh, (xi) Madhya Pradesh,  (xii) Kerala,  (xiii) Goa, (xiv) Bihar.
  • In addition, Ministry of Finance, Enforcement Directorate, Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority and GSTN have signed MoU.

            Increased Trade Interaction

o   India organized the 1st BRICS Trade Fair from October 12-14, 2016 at India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.

o   There were 397 exhibitors in the BRICS Trade Fair with participation from 14,612 business representatives.

o   A number of key sectors such as agriculture and agro processing, auto and auto components, chemicals, green energy, handicrafts, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, high technology, ICT, infrastructure, leather, machine tools, mining and textiles and apparel were represented in the Fair.

o   There were 1,601 Business to Business (B2B) meetings held during the BRICS Trade Fair.

o   The BRICS Business Forum was also held on the sidelines of the BRICS Trade Fair that discussed pertinent topics like green energy, infrastructure development and finance etc.

  • Signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation on expansion of Bilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation (15.10.2016).
  • Proposed Agreement on Trade, Commerce and Transit between India and Bhutan signed on 12.11.2016.
  • 7th session of India-Greece JEC convened in New Delhi on 23.11.2016. Agreed Minutes of JEC signed by CS & Mr. George Katrougalos, Alternate Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hellenic Republic on 23.11.2016. Deliberations of JEC reflected and reaffirmed cordial relations between two countries.

RCEP under active negotiation. The 15th round was held in October, 2016 at Tianjin, China and 16th RCEP round in December, 2016 at Tangerang, Indonesia. There was an intersessional ministerial held on 03.11.2016 at Cebu, Philippines, wherein, positions on goods, services and investment were clearly articulated by participating countries.

            INNOPROM – 2016

INNOPROM is the largest Industrial Trade Fair in Russia held annually in Yekaterinburg.  India participated in INNOPROM 2016 held on 11-14 July, 2016 as a “Partner Country”, with 117 Indian Companies. The States of Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Jharkhand also participated in the event along with various Ministries / Departments / Public Sector Undertakings of Central Government such as Department of Heavy Industry, Department of Electronics & IT, Ministry of Tourism, National Institute of Design, NTPC, NHPC, NEEPCO and Power Grid Corporation.  The Trade Fair was attended by around 700 exhibitors from 95 countries. Participation in INNOPROM 2016 provided opportunities for direct interaction with the global and Russian producers, awareness of best-in-class new manufacturing technologies, international and inter-industrial networking, etc.

.           Board of Trade – re-constituted on 23rd March, 2016

  • First meeting held on 6th April, 2016. Participation by various Members of the Board and some special invitees, comprising senior officials from Government and representatives of certain sectors of trade and industry.
  • Exporters were asked to provide inputs and suggestions on possible trade policy interventions, the institutional framework and possibilities for enhancing trade competitiveness.

.           Global Exhibition on Services (GES)

  • Two editions held in April, 2015 and in April, 2016.
  • Department of Commerce organizes GES, in association with Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
  • Provides a platform to all the participants from the services industry and other related industry to interact with, and explore new business avenues.

            Standard Conclaves – held in 2014, 2015 and 2016

  • Government is committed to transforming India into a manufacturing and exporting hub. This is possible only if India’s products are of world class standard.
  • Department of Commerce in collaboration with trade bodies and knowledge partners organizes National Standards Conclave every year.
  • Eight Standards Conclaves (three national and five regional) have been already held to generate awareness.
  • Objective of these Standard Conclaves is to find out gaps in India’s preparedness in this matter to address critical issues related to quality control and the vision of zero defect zero effect state of art manufacturing in India.

            Building the India Brand

A long term branding strategy has been conceptualised to enable India to hold its own in a highly competitive global environment and to ensure that “Brand India‟ becomes synonymous with high quality. Further, a programme to promote the branding and commercialisation of products registered as Geographical Indications and to promote their exports will be initiated within one year of this policy coming into force.

Institutional Mechanisms for Trade Promotion

The schemes for trade promotion under the Department of Commerce, namely, the Market Access Initiative (MAI) Scheme and the Market Development Assistance Scheme will continue. Efforts will be made to support the development of infrastructure for holding conventions in all major tier 1 and tier 2 States. A major convention-cum-exhibition centre will be developed at Pragati Maidan in Delhi replacing the present infrastructure. Export Promotion Councils are being strengthened, both in terms of technical capabilities and management structures.

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