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Finance minister Arun Jaitley said that improving trade facilitation would involve ways of cutting red tape, reducing the cost and time taken and improving efficiency in ports and in land borders. Photo: Mint
Finance minister Arun Jaitley said that improving trade facilitation would involve ways of cutting red tape, reducing the cost and time taken and improving efficiency in ports and in land borders. Photo: Mint

Arun Jaitley asks customs officials to cut red tape, make trade easier

Finance minister Arun Jaitley urged customs officials to cut red tape, facilitate cross border trade and help improve India's position in the World Bank's ease of doing business ranking

New Delhi: Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday urged officials of the customs administration to cut red tape, facilitate cross border trade and help improve India’s position in the World Bank’s ease of doing business ranking.

Addressing officials at the investiture ceremony and International Customs Day-2018 celebration here, Jaitley said that a large part of the minute requirements to be satisfied to raise India’s ranking falls in the domain of customs and that these requirements are not difficult to be met.

The other two out of the ten criteria the World Bank follows in its ranking method in which India needs improvement are municipal permissions relating to land and buildings and enforcement of contracts.

“If we hit the bull’s eye in each of the three, then to improve our ranking substantially from 100 is reasonably possible," the minister said. He reminded officers that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal is to make India one among the top 50 nations in ease of doing business.

Jaitley said that improving trade facilitation would involve ways of cutting red tape, reducing the cost and time taken and improving efficiency in ports and in land borders.

Finance secretary Hasmukh Adhia who was present on the occasion said that while India’s overall position in ease of doing business moved up 30 places from a year ago to 100 in World Bank’s 2018 ranking released last October, the ranking in the sub-category of cross border trade stood at 146. In the previous ranking, India had scored 143 in the area of cross border trade.

“ We must improve this ranking and bring it within 100 as early as possible," Adhia said while urging customs officials to work hard and bring new ideas.

In the case of doing business ranking 2018, India scored 154 in registering property and 181 in dealing with construction permits.

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