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Corruption is a state of mind & corruption starts from the top & very well entrenched because officials at the helm though obligated to ensure honesty in implementation in terms of the law, fail to carry out the responsibility diligently. Surprisingly petty corruption is not an issue in this country because it is ingrained in the psyche & thrives for 2 reasons mainly. People feel getting things done by pushing petty amounts is easier & those practicing this art make some for themselves. Thus, corruption is here to stay. However, the major issue is systemic corruption bringing down the growth of exports drastically. The issue has been seriously pursued with the DGFT but to no avail.

More than 3 years ago, the revamped DGFT portal was launched more than three years ago with much fanfare & the officials were jumping to claim credit for successful launch. However, once the exporters started using the portal, it became absolutely clear that the revamped portal was full of glitches & a severe burden on the exporters because of the very poor standards of performance & failure of the DGFT &/or TCS to deliver. TCS is top notch service provider & acknowledged worldwide but then when it comes to the to the department, even gold can turn into dust. As on date, there are issues even in terms of the issuance of very mundane tasks such as IEC or even an I card for the exporters. The issues are directly taken up with the Addl. DGFT (EDI) & the DGFT in particular but to no avail. It is difficult to comprehend that why the DGFT & TCS is such a miserable failure.

corruption rules the roost

Let us understand the IEC related issue in the first instance. The exporter is required to fill the application on the portal & upload the relevant documents. However, in case of proprietary & Partnership firms, the exporter fills up the PAN details of the Business Entity & also the name of the business entity but the name of the business is verified & adopted from the PAN database. However, in case of a Private Limited or Limited company, the name of the business entity is verified from the MCA portal & fetched from that database & incorporated in the IEC application & finally the IEC certificate. Thus, the exporter has no role in filling the name of the business entity The Exporter applies for an IEC & the name of the corporate entity is correctly registered with the MCA portal & that is evident from the Certificate of Registration issued by the Ministry of Corporate affairs. However, the DGFT issues a defective IEC in spite of being forewarned about the error in the name of the IEC holder. The issue is brought to the attention of the DGFT as well as the Addl. DGFT, Policy & EDI but to no avail. It is really difficult to comprehend that why such a sorry state of affairs be ever acceptable & allowed to continue. The most difficult part is that nobody seems to be bothered at all. It is pertinent to point out Speciality chemicals appears together whereas there is no such word in the English vocabulary & that the words Speciality Chemicals appears correctly in the Registration certificate issued by the MCA. Instead of attending to the problem & rectify the error, the DGFT officials prefer to keep mum & let the defective IEC holder suffer.

Now, we come to the other instance of the issuance of the I card. ANF-2B is relevant for the issuance of the I card & the same explicitly states that issuance of the I card is a paperless exercise & no scanned copies of the ANF are to be submitted to any of the DGFT offices. Thus, the stipulation does not leave any room for any manipulative interpretation & harassing the exporters. Therefore, the Addl. DGFT, RA, Mumbai is categorically informed that this is not the first time I card is being issued by the RA, Mumbai & that effectively means that exporters are being made to suffer because in RA, Mumbai nobody seems to be bothered about what is going on because the deficiency memo merrily demand Appendix-2B & not only that, the deficiency memo demands that the photograph of the employee should be pasted & attested by one of the Director, which is contrary to the DGFT guidelines & therefore unacceptable. However, please note that the exporter submits the photograph of the applicant by uploading it & then the application is submitted under the Aadhar based digital signatures therefore authentication of the photograph of the employee stands completed leaving no room for any discrepancy to be raised. Thus, it is crystal clear that though the mandate of the Parliament is to facilitate, there is no semblance of it visible but only harassment prevails & the exporters are bulldozed to succumb to comply with the illegalities.

If the Exporters are made to suffer even for the issuance of IEC or an I Card in this fashion then anyone can really guess what the exporters must be facing in respect of the entitlements to be issued. In the second part of this story, we deal with the how the exporters are being stifled both by the DGFT & the CBIC together by withholding the redemptions. This is therefore sent to all the relevant officials & if anyone points out anything, which is wrong then that will be addressed. However, it is for the DGFT/Addl. DGFT (EDI), Addl. DGFT (Policy) to ensure that the interest of the exporters is upheld & appropriate action taken. The policy makers cannot be mere spectators & refrain from rectifying the wrongs.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Taxguru.in. The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as professional advice. Taxguru.in does not endorse any specific views, practices, or recommendations presented in the article. Readers are encouraged to seek professional advice and conduct their own research before making any decisions based on the information provided.

(Author can be reached at rajivgupta.pec@gmail.com)

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