Phased approach to adopt standards

  1. Context: CII paper on ‘Challenges of Standards and Technical Regulations’ recommends a phased implementation of standards
  2. Standards adoption is a time and resource consuming process
  3. Recommendations: Government should encourage standards at least in those sectors more prone to consumer safety and security
  4. In the first phase, export-oriented services could be focused, where awareness about international standards exists
  5. In the second phase, services that are important for exports, but lacking standards, such as logistics, can be targeted to adopt internationally acceptable standards

Significance of services for India

  1. Contribution: The services sector accounts for over half of India’s GDP and its foreign investment inflows as well as more than a quarter of its total trade
  2. India has also found a place in the top ten World Trade Organisation-member countries in services exports and imports
  3. Despite services being such a crucial part of the country’s economy, there has so far been no institutional framework on services trade data collection and analysis
  4. The government has been relying on the Reserve Bank of India for services trade data

A background on services trade data framework

  1. Panel: In 2011, an expert panel was set up by the Central Statistical Office for identifying the gaps in collection and analysis of services trade data
  2. Following the panel’s report, another panel was constituted in November 2013 under the chairmanship of the DGCI&S
  3. DGCI&S: Asked the Delhi-based think-tank ICRIER to submit a report on four service sectors- logistics, audiovisual, professional and telecommunication
  4. The ICRIER report with policy recommendations and the problems related to collection and analysis of such data will be released on June 7

Agency to analyse services trade data- II

  1. Legality: To ensure legal certainty to the framework, the above provisions could be incorporated as amendments to the Collection of Statistics Act, 2008
  2. A new law is also being considered as the Collection of Statistics Act is not specific to services sector
  3. Nodal agency: It could be the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCI&S- currently compiles and analyses only goods trade data) or an entirely new one
  4. Deterrent: There could be stringent penalties for misreporting and for failing to report

Agency to analyse services trade data- I

  1. Context: The Centre will soon establish an institutional framework for better collection and analysis of data on India’s services export and import
  2. Objective: To improve targeting of incentives based on services exports
  3. Also to firm up a superior strategy for the country to be used in negotiations on bilateral free trade agreements as well as on regional and multilateral trade pacts
  4. Framework: Setting up of a nodal agency for international trade data in services, creation of an international services trade business directory
  5. Also, provisions mandating enterprises to report their international services trade to the proposed nodal agency

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