Improvements in the Existing System of Trade Data (Para 6.2.9)
Measures such as making available the entire code list on the website; introducing the standard query system for assigning an appropriate code for each item and feedback system from the exporters for amendment and widening the coding structure, etc. should be taken to assist the exporters in reporting the proper codes as envisaged in the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) notification. A similar notification for imports should also be issued.
The possibility of releasing commodity-wise and country-wise details of imports and exports of crude oil and petroleum products should be explored.
An effective mechanism between the customs houses and Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCI&S) to ensure complete coverage of all transactions in the compilation of Foreign Trade Statistics should be evolved.
All the Customs Houses and Ports including DGCI&S should be brought under the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) system in a phased manner to eliminate the errors in data transfer and minimise the time-lag in the processing and release of data. Priority to bring the remaining customs houses under EDI scheme should be given to those ports where the volume of trade transaction is significant.
DGCI&S should take steps to bring out the publications, Monthly Statistics of Foreign Trade of India and Statistics of the Foreign Trade of India by Countries within a period of about one month from the release of aggregate foreign trade data through the press note. In such a situation, the monthly Brochure entitled, Foreign Trade Statistics of India (Principal Commodities and Countries) can be dispensed with.
DGCI&S should make available on website the key results of Foreign Trade Statistics released through its various publications.
Inter-State Movement/Flows of Goods (Para 6.3.19)
DGCI&S should devise a standard format for collection and presentation of data on inter-State trade for all modes of transport. This method of presentation should also enable its comparison with foreign trade data. The possibility of using National Product Commodity Codes developed by Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) and others should be explored.
DGCI&S should be given the responsibility for coordinating and monitoring of data collection from the various agencies associated with different modes of transport.
Forms used by the different agencies in recording the basic information for the various modes of transport should be standardised.
The DGCI&S should take data from the zonal railways through electronic media instead of computer printouts in a standard format for the purposes of computer processing and inclusion in their publications.
A specially-designed Enterprise Survey should be conducted for collection of data on movement of goods by road transport. The feasibility of conducting sample surveys by the revenue or transport authorities to assess the volume of Inter-State Trade by road through copies of invoices collected at check-posts of the State borders should also be examined.
Feasibility of collecting relevant data by introducing logbook system should be explored.
The River-borne Trade data should be shown separately and should not be clubbed with Rail-borne Trade as is presently being done.
The commodity-wise details of air-cargo movement should be collected and presented as in case of other modes of transport. The movement of cargo by private airlines should also be covered.
Generation of Data on Exports by State of Origin (Para 6.4.3)
Pilot surveys based on the addresses of exporters as available in EDI and non-EDI data should be conducted to know whether exporters are aware of the actual origin of the goods or can give information only on the place or State of Procurement.
If found feasible, appropriate modification in the Shipping Bills should be made to collect the information relating to place of procurement and State of Origin.
Index Numbers of Foreign Trade of India (Para 6.5.4)
DGCI&S should immediately revise the current base year (1978-79) of indices of Unit Value and Quantum of Foreign Trade and the corresponding indices of terms of trade.
DGCI&S should compile and release the series of indices on Bilateral Foreign Trade following the methodology suggested by the Technical Committee constituted within a period of one year.
Product Classification: Harmonisation of Code (Para 6.6.4)
The 8-digit coding system being developed by the Task Force constituted by CBEC should be finalised urgently and also stress upon the need to adopt this national classification code based on Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) by all the producer and user organisations engaged in product-level data. The use of national classification would eliminate the multiplicity of the product-level coding system and would also enable a study of the flow of output through various economic systems apart from cross-classification of activity and product data.