Pinning hopes on global trade facilitation agreement
(TFA) in goods to boost India’s trade flows, Central Board of Excise and Customs Chairman Najib Shah
on Wednesday said implementing the deal would not be a problem for India.
Speaking at an event organised by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), Shah said India was largely compliant with the provisions of the TFA.
The World Trade Organisation's (WTO’s) landmark deal came into force last month and is expected to provide a much-needed boost to beleaguered global growth. However, its success will depend on the rising tide of trade protectionism across the world and stronger voices against trade liberalisation like US President Donald Trump.
Ratified by 112 nations, more than two-thirds of all member nations, the deal will ease customs norms and processes, bring down barriers to trade and enhance the capacity of developing world to better engage with the global trading network. India had ratified most of the reforms for implementation under category A which required immediate implementation of reforms at the time of enforcement of the TFA.
Shah said that all necessary changes in legislation, as a result of adopting the deal, would be restricted to only the Customs Act and allied laws of participatory agencies. Asked about the investment required for the full implementation of the pact, he said, “I do not think that it is too daunting task for us to ensure. We will implement the TFA
in both letter and spirit. This will be done over the next one year,” he added. “Among the provisions of the TFA, the mechanism for advance ruling will be especially helpful for traders." Vikram Johri, Chief Commissioner, Customs, Delhi said.
India's existing initiatives on smoothening trade processes will give the TFA
a leg-up, Johri said. However, trade experts have pointed out that India will have to engage in widespread upgradation and digitisation of its infrastructure before the benefits of the TFA
start flowing. In this regard, while the facility of funding has been made available to all nations, the government had clarified that India would not be using it.