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Customs clearances will be in hours:Chidambaram

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Bangalore, Apr 6 (UNI) Customs clearances will be carried out in a matter of hours rather than days with the increased use of risk management techniques and selective scrutiny of Cargo, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said today.

Inaugurating a three-day IT International Conference of World Customs Organisation (WCO) here, he said ''it will be possible for the Trade to interact with ports/customs only for the purpose of taking delivery of cargo''.

Later talking to newsmen, Mr Chidambaram said that the restructuring and re-engineering of the Customs Department would be completed in a year's time.

He said operations of customs e-commerce portal ICEGATE, which enabled filing of import and export declarations on internet and helpdesk, for solving problems of e-filers, were outsourced as customs officers did not possess the necessary skills to manage technologies, Stating that the era of e-commerce emphasis on use of technology could be characterised by efficiencies which translate to lower costs and quality of service, he said the success of the Indian IT industry was based on these two pillars. Regulatory reforms in recent years had facilitated a philosophy of operational excellence amongst industry players and had ensured that India based delivery, sustains world leading benchmarks in performance.

He said globalisation was an irreversible process and innovative ways of combining economic and social objectives must be sought and where necessary, be based on world expertise.

He said the government was increasingly becoming a service provider and there was need for agility, flexibility and dynamism to be able to respond to the new challenges to create a support structure that could fulfill the new objectives of governance.

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