Finance Minister Arun Jaitley released the National Trade Facilitation Action Plan (NTFAP) on Thursday.
The Action Plan aims to transform cross-border clearance ecosystem through efficient, transparent, risk-based, co-ordinated, digital, seamless and technology driven procedures which are supported by advanced sea ports, airports, and land borders.
“With the release of this Action Plan today, we look forward to ensuring compliance with the TFA and also, impetus to trade facilitation,” Jaitley said while releasing the Action Plan.
NTFAP also awards specific responsibilities to all regulatory agencies like Customs, FSSAI, Drug Controller, Plant Quarantine, DGFT, etc to be completed in a time-bound manner.
“This Action Plan gives a time bound map, not only for implementing TFA, but also for India’s initiatives for trade facilitation and Ease of Doing Business which goes beyond TFA,” Jaitley further added.
Apart from activities under the ambit of TFA, the Action Plan also goes beyond to what has been defined as TFA Plus category. It covers many activities in the areas of infrastructure augmentation, particularly the roadways and railways leading to ports and the infrastructure within ports, airports, ICDs, land customs stations that cuts across all stakeholders for which various ministries like shipping, civil aviation, railways, road transport and highways, Home Affairs, Finance, Commerce etc have been assigned specified targets.
All actions covered under the plan have been categorized by prioritizing the activities into short term, midterm and long term. The National Plan would be monitored by the Steering Committee (the operational arm of the NCTF) chaired by the Revenue Secretary and the Commerce Secretary. The plan would be reviewed by the Cabinet Secretary.
Earlier, a National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NCTF) headed by the Cabinet Secretary was constituted comprising of stakeholders from the Government and the private sectors including trade community. The NCTF has adopted 76 point National Trade Facilitation Action Plan (NTFAP) which is a reflection of the Government’s commitment to implement the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).