I. Citizen’s Charter
The Citizen’s Charter is given in Box 15.1
The Citizen’s Charter*
We function to enhance external trade by increasing economic and commercial engagement with other countries, through enactment and implementation of export promotion measures and through trade facilitation measures.
We are committed to act with integrity and judiciousness, transparency and accountability and with courtesy and understanding in our dealings with the trade and the public. All the services and commitments will be honoured, without the citizen having to pay any bribe.
We will continuously strive to evolve procedures in foreign trade policy that would be of maximum benefit to the public. We are committed to simplify various requirements necessary under rules in force, in the context of a globalized and liberalized economy.
We shall continuously consult our client groups and shall give timely publicity to all changes in law or procedures relevant to the Department.
* Citizen Charter is, at present, under review
II. Grievances Cell
A Public Grievance Cell is functioning in the Trade Finance Section of the Department to deal with grievances of the public and employees of Department of Commerce and the offices under its control for its speedy redressal and disposal. A Grievance Box has been provided at the Information and Facilitation Counter situated at Gate No.14, Udyog Bhavan, New Delhi. In the event of any person wanting to take up the matter personally, he/she may contact Shri Anurag Saxena, Joint Secretary (Staff & Public Grievances), Room No. 279-B, Udyog Bhavan, New Delhi (Telephone No: 23063050, Telefax No: 23063050 and E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). All Thursdays are observed as meetingless days in the Department and officers to make themselves available to the public without insisting upon prior appointment, between 3.00 to 4.00 PM on those days.
A Quasi Judicial Appellate Committee has been constituted in the Department. The Committee is responsible for taking expeditious action on appeals preferred against statutory orders passed by the DGFT/Addl.DGFT/Development Commissioners of Special Economic Zones and 100% Export Oriented Units under the provisions of Foreign Trade Development and Regulation Act, 1992. The Committee considers the appeal in its meeting from time to time.
Grievance Redressal Committees (GRCs)
A Grievance Committee headed by DGFT in Headquarters and by the Jt. DGFT’s i.e. Regional Authorities at all the regional offices is constituted as per provision of the para 2.49 of and para 9.9 of the Handbook of Procedures Volume-I. These Committees can be approached for redressal of the grievances of Trade & Industry.
Besides these committees, a Grievance Redressal Committee (GRC) headed by Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce, has also been set up to facilitate speedy redressal of grievances of trade and industry particularly to exporters and importers. Exporters may send their grievance to the Committee in electronic form, besides all other normal modes. Representations to the Committee can be forwarded by post, addressed to the Chairman of the Committee. The application of the aggrieved party must contain the name of the applicant, IEC No., address (with contact Nos, and e-mail ID), the details of reference earlier made to DGFT, if any and the grounds in support of grievance, in brief.
Any decision relating to Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) i.e. decision of ALC,EPCG,PIC,PRC,EPZ/EOU etc. i.e. all non-statutory matters relating to Foreign Trade Policy which has caused grievances to the exporter/importer will be heard by the Committee. An opportunity for a personal hearing with GRC is also available. During April-December, 2010, the meetings of GRC were held in April,2010 and November 2010. In these meetings 37 cases were considered.
III. Vigilance Unit
The Vigilance Section in the Department with the Joint Secretary & Chief Vigilance Officer (JS&CVO) as the Divisional head deals with the following work:-
Implementation of Conduct rules
Processing of annual property returns
Completion of annual Confidential Report of all the officers of the Department
Furnishing of CVO’s monthly report on vigilance activities to CVC
Compiling quarterly statistical reports of vigilance cases for sending a Consolidated quarterly report to the Department of Personnel
Work relating to granting permission under the provision of the Conduct Rules
Vigilance Division also handles the following activities:-
Conducting regular and surprise inspections of sensitive spots
Review and streamlining of procedures, which appear to afford scope for corruption or misconduct and for initiating other measures for the prevention, detection of corruption and other malpractices and punishment to the corrupt in the Department as well as its attached and subordinate offices and Public Sector Undertakings
Keeping a watch on the movement/visits of undesirable persons in the Department
Preparation of a list of officers of “Doubtful Integrity” /Agreed list and their postings to non sensitive areas
The Vigilance Section of the Department also deals with the disciplinary cases of Board level appointees working in various Public Sector Undertakings, Autonomous Bodies and Commodity Boards functioning under the administrative control of the Department, while the cases of non Board level appointees of the various PSUs, Autonomous Bodies and Commodity Boards are looked after by the respective CVO/Heads of the Organisation.
The complaints received from individuals and other organizations like CBI/CVC/PMO etc. are examined on the basis of the factual report obtained from the concerned administrative divisions/organizations. If necessary, preliminary inquiries are made to look into the merit of the complaint. If the complaints have any substance then a regular departmental action is initiated.
During the year 2010-2011, about 113 (tentative) investigations/inquiries were conducted (as per information available upto 31.12.2010) and on the basis of these inquiry proceedings, in 37 (tentative) cases major/minor penalties were imposed in attached and subordinate offices, PSUs, Autonomous Bodies and Commodity Boards and the Department of Commerce.
Vigilance Awareness Period was observed during the period 25th October, 2010 to 1st November, 2010 to create awareness amongst officers and staff.
IV. Right to Information
The Department of Commerce has implemented the Right to Information Act, 2005 and has put in place all necessary systems and procedures on the Website of the Department. The list of designating Directors/Deputy Secretaries as Central Public Information Officers (CPIOs) and Under Secretaries/Section Officers as Public Information Officer (PIOs) in the Department has been revised. 37 Directors/Deputy Secretaries from different Divisions have been designated as CPIOs in the Department. Similarly, 29 organizations under the administrative control of this Department have been treated as public authority under the Right to Information Act. The Department has also set up a mechanism of appeal as has been provided in the Act.
During the year April, 2009 to March, 2010, 297 applications were received by different CPIOs of this Department. During the same period, out of 44 appeals received in the Department, 39 appeals were disposed off by the Appellate Committee on RTI set up in this Department and 05 Appeals were transferred to other Public Authorities, as per provisions of the RTI Act, 2005.
During the period from April, 2010 to December, 2010, 416 applications were received by different CPIOs of this Department. During the same period, 34 appeals were received in the Department, out of which 25 appeals were disposed off by the Appellate Committee on RTI set up in this Department and 09 appeals were transferred to other Public Authorities as per provisions of the RTI Act, 2005.
In pursuance of the CIC’s Directive dated 15.11.2010, Shri Siddharth, Joint Secretary, has been designated as Transparency Officer (TO) in the Department and all Senior Officers, including CPIOs, have been directed to give immediate effect to the Chief Information Officer’s (CIC’s) Directive dated 15.11.2010. Similarly, all the 29 Public Authorities under the administrative control of this Department have been directed to give immediate effect to the CIC’s Directive dated 15.11.2010 and designate TOs in their Organizations.
V. Official Language
The Official Language Division monitors the progressive use of Hindi and implements the Official Language Policy in the official work of the Department. Necessary action has been taken to achieve the targets set out in the Annual Programme for the year 2010-11.
Hindi Salahakar Samiti
The Department has a Hindi Salahkar Samiti to review the progressive use of Hindi in the official work of the Department as well as various organizations under its administrative control. The Committee is being reconstituted in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Department of Official Language.
Official Language Implementation Committee
Meetings of the Official Language Implementation Committee (OLIC) were held regularly under the Chairmanship of Joint Secretary (O.L. Incharge) in which the progressive use of Official Language in the official work of various Sections/Divisions of the Department was reviewed. Decisions taken at these meetings were promptly implemented.
A Hindi Fortnight was organized in the Department during 1-15 September, 2010. Six competitions viz. Translation from English to Hindi and vice versa, Noting and Drafting in Hindi, Dictation in Hindi, Hindi Quiz, Pictography and Poetry Recitation were organized for Hindi speaking and Non-Hindi speaking employees commonly as well as separately. In a function organized on 14.12.2010, Hon’ble Minister of State for Commerce & Industry gave away the cash prizes and certificates to the winners. The prize money for the first and second prize of each competition has been increased from Rs. 1500/- to Rs. 2000/- and Rs. 1300/- to Rs. 1500/- respectively.
To enhance the use of Hindi in their official work by the staff, the following incentive schemes have been introduced in the Department:
“Vanijya Granth Puraskar Yojna” aimed at encouraging the writing of original books in Hindi on subjects pertaining to the Department of Commerce. Under the scheme, cash prizes of Rs. 25,000/-, Rs. 18,000/-, Rs. 12,000/- and Rs. 6,000/- are awarded as first, second, third and consolation prizes respectively.
A bi-annual incentive scheme for Assistants and Dealing Hands using Hindi in their official work has also been continued during the year. During the second half of the year 2009-10, 25 employees have been awarded an incentive of Rs. 1000/- each.
Under the “Special Incentive Scheme” operated during the year to encourage the officers/employees to do their entire official work in Hindi, a cash award of Rs.5000/- each was given to 19 officers/employees (10 Hindi speaking and 9 Non-Hindi speaking).
The status of various organizations under the Department of Commerce in which 80% or more employees have acquired working knowledge of Hindi for doing their official work is being reviewed regularly.
During the year, 3 Regional/Sub-offices, under the Attached/Subordinate offices/Undertakings of the Department of Commerce have been notified in the Gazette of India under Rule 10 (4) of the Official Language Rules, 1976. Apart from this, 10 sections in the Department have already been specified under rule 8(4) of the Official Language Rules, 1976 for doing their entire official work in Hindi.
The Department ensures the compliance of Section 3(3) of the Official Language Act wherein all papers/documents are issued bilingually (Hindi & English). In compliance of Rule 5 of the Official Language Rules, letters received in Hindi are invariably replied to in Hindi. Letters received from the Members of Parliament from Region ‘A’ and ‘B’ are also replied to in Hindi. The progress made in promoting the use of Hindi in the organizations under the control of the Department is monitored and reviewed through their Quarterly Progress Reports and through inspections. Official Language inspections of 16 offices were carried out during the year up to February, 2011 to review the position of progressive use of Hindi in their official work.
Committee of Parliament on Official Language
The committee of Parliament on Official Language inspected Department of Commerce on 10.07.2010. During the year 2010-11, the Committee also inspected 11 organizations under DOC wherein a representative of the Department was present and the assurances given during these meetings were communicated to the concerned organization for their early fulfilment.
VI. Information And Communication Technologies (ICT)
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and its tools have become integral part of the functioning of the Department. These have facilitated the efficient and effective administration, monitoring, trade facilitation, delivery of services and information dissemination to the users. The Computer Centre in the department is being manned and managed by National Informatics Centre (NIC). It provides necessary assistance and support in developing and implementing various ICT systems and applications for decision making, monitoring, analysis, office automation and e-governance. All officers/ divisions/ sections are equipped with necessary ICT infrastructure for their desktop computing and functioning. These are connected to a Local Area network (LAN), providing round the clock facilities for e-mail, and Intranet/ Internet operations. The ICT infrastructure in the department is being regularly reviewed for its better utilization and upgradation.
The video conferencing is being effectively used as cost effective solution through Video Conferencing Studio at NIC- Head Quarter for national and international meetings and negotiations. An Executive Video Conference System (EVCS) is also available in the Chamber of Commerce Secretary, connecting Secretaries to Government of India and all Chief Secretaries/ Administrators of States/UTs over NIC network (NICNET) to facilitate quick appraisal of inter-ministerial and state matters. The in-house Video conferencing facility has also been setup in the department to organize national and international meetings in the department.
Various ICT based systems, applications and packages have been deployed in the department in order to provide necessary support in decision making, monitoring, analysis, office automation and e-governance. The electronic interface with community partners for trade facilitation, Electronic Payment through Net Banking and Digital Signature are integrated with the systems wherever applicable.
The website of the department (http://commerce.gov.in) is being regularly enriched and strengthened for information dissemination, electronic delivery of services, trade facilitation and monitoring. It provides Government-to-Citizen (G2C) and Government-to-Business (G2B) interfaces. A separate website for the Standing Committees on Promotion of Exports by Air and Sea (http://escope.gov.in), is also hosted to provide an open forum for the Trading community for direct and quick interface for communication and information dissemination with the Department.
An Intranet Portal is hosted in the department for providing e-governance and office automation applications to the employees and internal users. It is being regularly updated with latest circulars and notices.