Standing Committee on Commerce Invites Suggestions on Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2009

The Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2009, introduced in the Rajya Sabha on the 25th November, 2009, has been referred to the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce, with Shanta Kumar, Member, Rajya Sabha, as its Chairman, for examination and report.

The Bill seeks to amend the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992 with a view, interalia, to:-

i)    Provide a statutory provision for safeguard measures enabling imposition of Quantitative Restrictions (QRs);

ii)   Bring in tighter export or trade control in the case of dual-use goods and related technologies and to provide enabling provisions for establishing controls as in the Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Act, 2005;

iii)   Bring “technology” and “services”, including financial services, within the ambit of the Act for the purpose of administering incentive schemes and other provision of the Foreign Trade Policy;

iv)  Dispense with the requirement of obtaining any licence or permit for import or export except as may be provided under the Act;

v)   Enable swift and exemplary action in trade dispute matters;

vi)  Further rationalise as well as improve the system of levying and realising fiscal penalties;

vii)  Empower Customs and Central Excise Settlement Commission for settlement of customs and excise duty and interest dues;

viii) Broaden the scope of word “licence” defined in the Act;

ix)  Provide a provision for review of all decisions of subordinate officers by Director General of Foreign Trade.

The Committee has decided to invite memoranda, containing views of the individuals/organizations, etc., interested in the subject-matter of the Bill, and also to hear oral evidence on the subject.

Those desirous of submitting memoranda to the Committee may send two copies (either in English or Hindi) thereof to Surinder Kumar Watts, Joint Secretary, Rajya Sabha Secretariat, Room No. 240, Second Floor, Parliament House Annexe, New Delhi (Tel: 23034240, E-mail: watts@sansad.nic.in) within fifteen days of publication of this advertisement, indicating whether they would also be interested in giving oral evidence before the Committee.

The memoranda submitted to the Committee would form part of the records of the Committee and will be treated as confidential. These are not to be disclosed to anyone, till the report of the Committee is presented to Parliament, violation of which would constitute a breach of privilege of the Committee.

The Bill was published in the Gazette in India, Extraordinary, Part II, section 2, dated the 25th November, 2009. Its copies can be had on written request to the above-mentioned Officer or can be downloaded from the official web-site of the Rajya Sabha (http://rajyasabha.nic.in), under the caption “Bills with the Committees”.

[Source: MoC&I Press Releases dated 13 January, 2010]

The Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Act, 2005

The Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2001

The Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2009