The Union Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley said that the National Trade Facilitation Action Plan (NTFAP) aims to align border procedures with international best practices and improve Ease of Doing Business. He said that it would not only ensure compliance with the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) but would also give impetus to trade facilitation. The Finance Minister was speaking when Dr Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General, World Customs Organization (WCO) called on him in his office in North Block in Delhi today. The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley further said that 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. The Action Plan was released by the Finance Minister Shri Jaitley yesterday in the national capital. Both the leaders discussed various other issues relating to Customs and Trade Facilitation.
Dr Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General, WCO appreciated the various initiatives taken by the Indian Customs to facilitate trade particularly the release of the National Trade Facilitation Action Plan (NTFAP). While praising the massive reforms undertaken by the present Government in the Indian Taxation System including implementation of GST, Dr Mikuriya said that the efforts made with regard to outreach and capacity building before implementation of GST in India can be emulated by many other countries.
Dr Kunio Mikuriya further mentioned about WCO working with G-20 on illicit financial flows. He sought Indian support for the study on illicit financial flows and plugging of trade based money laundering.
Dr Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General, WCO is on a two day official visit to India. Earlier, he along with the Chairman, CBEC, Ms Vanaja N Sarna addressed the workshop on “Trade Facilitation Agreement – Learning from Implementation Experience” at FICCI Federation House. This Workshop was jointly organised by the CBEC, FICCI and World Bank to share Global experience and Indian perspective on best practices in Trade Facilitation. International experts from WTO, World Bank and other countries participated in the said workshop.
Mr Mikuriya spoke about how WCO is helping many countries in implementation of TFA through their Mercator Programme. He specifically appreciated TFA plus category in India’s Action Plan. In her Special Address, Chairman, CBEC, Ms Sarna said that as we start the journey in the new era of one nation, one tax, one market, the national trade facilitation action plan will prove to be a milestone as well as a barometer of orientation from a regulatory taxation regime to that of one committed to facilitating legitimate trade.
During the course of the day, Secretary General, WCO had separate meetings with Revenue Secretary, GOI, Secretary DIPP, GOI, Chairman and members of CBEC among others. (PIB Dated-21.07.2017)