One of the major initiative in continuation to Digital India Campaign, Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has launched the facility for online payment of application fees through credit or debit cards and other electronic fund transfers, informed a press release of Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Now with the online payment facility being available from 53 banks as well as Credit and Debit cards, it would be possible to not only apply online for benefits under various schemes under Foreign Trade Policy but also make payment of the required application fee online, thus totally obviating the need to visit the offices of DGFT or banks for submission of applications.
In keeping with the Digital India vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister and taking yet another small but crucial step towards paperless, online functioning in 24×7 environment, DGFT launched the facility of online payment of application fees through Credit/Debit cards and electronic fund transfer from 53 Banks (List annexed), it said.
The facility of online payment was launched by Commerce Secretary Rita A.Teaotia.
As a measure of Trade Facilitation and Ease of Doing Business, DGFT has already operationalised the facility of Online filing of various applications by the exporters/importers under the Foreign Trade Policy (2015-20).
Early this year, DGFT also operationalised the facility of online submission of applications for issue of online Importer Exporter Code in digital format or e-IEC for entrepreneurs/exporters/importers.
With the launch of this new facility applicants can now pay fees online to DGFT through their Credit/ Debit Cards or through net banking in a 24×7 environment, from the comfort of their homes/offices or IT kiosks.
This facility would also make the field offices of DGFT paperless to a large extent and enable them to function in 24*7 environment, while saving extra expenditure on storage space. It would also ensure transfer of the fee amount into government account on T+1 working day, avoiding undue delay in deposit of bank drafts etc.
DGFT has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Central Bank of India, that will provide payment gateway services to the online portal of DGFT to enable applicants/ exporters/ importers to pay their application fees through Credit/Debit Cards or through net banking, it added.
Welcoming the launch of online payment facility for application fee through credit/debit cards, S C Ralhan, President, Federation of Indian Export Organsiations (FIEO) said that the launch of cost effective facility will help in reducing the transaction cost and time through elimination of manpower deployed for making physical demand drafts/challans.
President, FIEO said that the new procedure also envisages streamlining of the refund of application fee, where payment was made erroneously, which under the manual mode was taking months to get the refund.
FIEO said that this small but effective and pro-active measure alongwith the steps taken in reducing export-import documents from 7 and 9 respectively to 3 only along with a various initiatives on digitalization and EDI undertaken in the new Foreign trade Policy will definitely help in improving India’s ranking in “Trading across Border” segment of Doing Business Report of the World Bank.