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Goa Chamber has urged DGFT to reopen its office in Goa

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GOA : The Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) has urged the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) to reopen its office in Goa. GCCI informed the DGFT that since the closure of the DGFT office at St Inez in 2018, exports and foreign trade from Goa have been badly affected, as Goan businessmen are forced to travel to Mumbai to complete basic formalities.

GCCI President Ralph de Sousa recently met DGFT Deputy Director R Sampath at a meeting convened by the Reserve Bank of India, where Sousa told Sampath that DGFT’s online portal and helpline numbers proved to be a stumbling block for local entrepreneurs and exporters. “Sampath was sympathetic to the matter,” Sousa said.

While Sampath acknowledged the need for a dedicated office in Goa, he informed GCCI that a final decision on restarting the DGFT office in Goa has yet to be taken.

DGFT closed its office in 2018 to optimise its human resources and bring in online services. Local entrepreneurs and exporters often found that their consignments were stuck at ports and at customs warehouses due to procedural issues. Industrialists have repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction with the services provided by the DGFT office in Mumbai, which has jurisdiction over Goa.

“For small matters, Goan businessmen had to approach the Mumbai office physically, wasting valuable time and effort. GCCI had previously raised concern that exports from Goa were badly affected due to poor online services. The helpline number given was also not being attended to,” said Sousa.

The GCCI president said that if Goa has to play a role in meeting the goal of a $5 trillion economy, foreign exports need to be encouraged, for which a dedicated DGFT office is required in the state. GCCI had written to the state and Union governments in this regard.

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