Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry Current Affairs - 2019

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Commerce Ministry launches Steel Import Monitoring System

Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Railways, Piyush Goyal launched Steel Import Monitoring System (SIMS) in New Delhi. The system has been developed in consultation with Union Ministry of Steel on the pattern of US Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) system.

About Steel Import Monitoring System (SIMS)

SIMS has been notified with effect from 1 November 2019. It will provide advance information about steel imports to Centre government and stake holders which includes steel industry (producers), steel consumers (importers) to have effective policy interventions.

SIMS shall require importers to submit advance information in an online system for import of 284 steel tariff lines at 8-digit HS code (Harmonized Item Description and Coding System) in order to obtain an automatic Registration Number by paying required registration fee.

Function:

The importers of specified steel products will register in advance on web portal of SIMS and will provide necessary information. The registration will be online and automatic and no human intervention is required.

The importer can apply for registration not before 60th day and not after 15th day before expected date of arrival of import consignment. The automatic Registration Number thus granted will remain valid for 75 days period. The importer shall also have to enter Registration Number and expiry date of Registration in Bill of Entry to enable Customs for clearance of consignment.

The information about steel imports provided by importers on SIMS will be monitored by Steel Ministry.

GeM and Punjab Government inks MoU to set up Project Management Unit

Government e-Marketplace (GeM) under Department of Commerce, Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry and Government of Punjab, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up a GeM Organizational Transformation Team (GOTT) Project Management Unit (PMU) in the state.

Key Highlights

Punjab is the 1st state which will establish GOTT PMU for effectively utilising this transformational initiative towards inclusive, efficient and transparent procurement. Among CPSUs, as of now only Steel Authority of India (SAIL) has already signed MoU for setting up of PMU. Many other states and CPSUs are in process of setting up GOTT PMUs.

It is estimated that through initiatives of GOTT PMU, Government of Punjab will be able to transact around Rs.1700 crore in terms of annual Gross Merchandize Value (GMV) on GeM platform in 1st year and over Rs.3000 crore per annum, over a period of time.

Importance: To further strengthen and enable Government departments towards a market based procurement, Department of Expenditure under Union Ministry of Finance has advised Ministries and Departments of Central and State Governments to consider services of GOTT on an outcome based self-sustenance model. GOTT will assist buyer agency to redesign procurement processes and enhance competencies to derive maximum benefit from online marketplace.

About GeM: It is the national public procurement portal that was launched in August 2016. Since then it has transformed public procurement landscape in country with transparency, efficiency and inclusion.  It has facilitated procurement worth more than Rs.34,000 crore of goods & services by various Government Departments, Organisations and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs).