Foreign trade office moves toward paperless deals

Friday, 20 December 2002, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: Exporters and importers will soon be able to do away with paperwork, with the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) moving towards electronic authorisation of all transactions.

The DGFT, which functions under the commerce ministry, Friday signed a memorandum of understanding with Chennai-based SafeScrypt Limited, a subsidiary of Satyam Infoway Ltd. and an affiliate of Verisign-USA, to provide it with technical support and consultancy services.

A licensed certifying authority (CA) on making e-commerce and e-governance secured, SafeScrypt will help DGFT to upgrade its electronic data interchange (EDI) so that all communications from DGFT can be electronically transmitted with encrypted digital signatures, the commerce ministry said.

Since December 1, the DGFT office in the ministry has become digital signature enabled and all notifications issued by it are being digitally signed.

"As a result, all Exim notifications, public notices, and in course of time, licences issued by DGFT can be electronically transmitted with digital signatures, obviating the need of securing an authenticated hard copy," the commerce ministry stated.

Exporters who apply for licences would now be able to interact with DGFT on a secured electronic platform, which will facilitate paperless verification, processing and communication.

Taking a step further, the DGFT hopes to introduce an electronic fund transfer (EFT) facility so that exporters can transmit their applications along with the application fee.

DGFT has already started negotiations with public sector banks like State Bank of India, Central Bank of India and other private sector banks like ICICI and HDFC to partner it towards paperless transactions.
Source: IANS
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