In a yet
another move to improve the ease of doing business, the Government has
simplified the process for companies to set up an Inland Container Depot/
Container Freight Station (CFS)/Air Freight Station (AFS). The improved
procedure is aimed at ensuring a speedier and more transparent approval
process. Towards this objective, companies can now make their application
online and view its progress/update on-line, without a visit to any government
approval process for setting up an ICD/CFS/AFS involves many governmental
departments. This is facilitated through an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC)
which consists of officials from Ministries of Commerce, Finance (Dept. of
Revenue), Railways and Shipping. If required, the view of the respective State
Government is also sought. This IMC is housed in the Department of Commerce
which is mandated to act as a single window for the approval process.
current process the applicant submits as many as ten physical copies of the
application form with the requisite documents to the Infrastructure Division at
Department of Commerce (DoC), New Delhi, besides one copy with the
Jurisdictional Commissioner of Customs.
process of examination of the application is very cumbersome and the
application form is very bulky with the ancillary material running into almost
500-1000 pages. This is initially scrutinized by the Department of Commerce for
adherence to the land acquisition guidelines.
the application are then sent to Ministry of Railways, Shipping, Civil Aviation
and Department of Revenue (CBEC) for scrutiny and comments. Department of
Revenue (CBEC) then sends the copies of this application to the Jurisdictional
Commissioners in the field and thereafter on receiving a report from them sends
their clearances to Department of Commerce.
Upon receiving the comments from the Ministry
of Railways, Shipping, Civil Aviation and Department of Revenue (CBEC),
Department of Commerce convenes the meeting of Inter-Ministerial Committee
where the application is reviewed on the basis of the comments received, and a
decision taken on issue of the Letter of Intent (LoI) to the applicant.
receiving the approval, the applicant is required to set up the infrastructure
within one year from the date of approval. The IMC may grant an extension of
six months after reviewing the justification for delays given by the party.
applicant has put up the required infrastructure, conformed with the security
standards of the Jurisdictional Commissioner of Customs and provided a bond
backed by bank guarantee to the Customs, a final clearance and Customs
notification is issued by the Customs department which then declares the
been frequent complaints from the Stakeholders (applicants) that the manual
process is very cumbersome and not only does it result in loss of documents in
the transit but also there is lack of transparency regarding the status of
various clearances by the various agencies/departments. There have been
persistent demands from the various stakeholders to streamline the processes
and therefore, Department of Commerce embarked upon a project to have the
complete process made online for the convenience of the applicants.
the culmination of the project, the backend process will also be online and the
applicant can see the various stages of processing of his application in the
various Ministries/Departmentsas it is visible online.
saving reams of paper, the process also brings about greater transparency by
disclosing the status of the application. This includes sending out SMS and
Email alerts to keep all the stakeholders abreast with the progress.
approach was conceived under the broader umbrella motto of the government –
“Minimum Government, Maximum Governance” espoused by Prime Minister Narendra