In a move that is likely to improve India’s overall position as a country with ‘ease of doing business’, the commerce ministry has initiated a mechanism allowing importers and exporters to use card payments for various services. Until now, the Indian traders including exporters and importers were paying fees for various services either manually or through a dedicated net banking channel.
With this new process in place, India based exporters and importers can now rely on debit and credit cards to make payments for online services, making it simpler and more effective to conduct business related activities including payments for applications and certificates.
The Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) speaking to press reporters at a PHDCCI function revealed that the Controller General of Accounts has given its go ahead for the use of a credit and debit card based payment system to initiate international business transactions. The move is likely to help new entrepreneurs as well as existing exporters and importers to apply for various certifications like the Import Export code online amid others.
Unlike in the past where traders especially exporters and importers had to spend a lot of time in manually visiting the office of the regional authorities to apply for import export code and other certificates, traders can now simply upload the documents online and pay the required fee either through net banking or credit and debit card.
The New Initiative Receives Thumbs up from Entrepreneurs: New entrepreneurs and traders including exporters and importers have given the much awaited mechanism a thumbs up. In this era of technology, Indian entrepreneurs who are into EXIM had to manually submit application forms and use traditional payment systems making it a time consuming affair.
With the introduction of an online payment gateway for credit and debit cards, entrepreneurs can now focus on their work while submitting their applications online and facilitating a payment for them with ease. The move which was to be first implemented by March 31 2014 has finally been put into place albeit after a slight delay.
India’s Global Positioning in Ease of Doing Business to Improve: Many industrial chambers of commerce and businessmen had requested the Government to consider introduction of such a payment gateway which would help to speed up the regulatory work for entrepreneurs. The government on its part is also working on all possible fronts to make India’s overall ranking in the ‘ease of doing business index’ to 50 in the next two years from the current 142.
A World Bank report titled ‘Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency’ released last year had ranked India at a dismal 142nd out of 189 countries rank in terms of doing business. The government is working on digitally enhancing India’s position in terms of doing business by introduction of various innovative technological methodologies that would offer businessmen respite from any delays in the future.
The government has already started offering new entrepreneurs the advantage of opting for an Importer Exporter Code (IEC) – a 10-digit code – as well as issuing of e-IECs in digital format with no physical visit required to the regional authorities office. The swift online payment system including credit and debit card payment gateways makes it easy for traders to apply and pay the requisite government fee for such certifications. This move is largely seen as a culmination of Digital India’ vision of the Prime Minister and a single minded focus to improve the ease of doing business in India at the ground level.
As far as the credit card industry is concerned, this move is likely to spur a growth in credit cards specific for businessmen.