'Exporters under RBI scanner over data flaws'

 In a bid to prevent irregularities in the export values declared by exporters and those registered by banks providing them forex services, the Reserve Bank will soon come up with revamped procedures, minister of state for finance Namo Narain Meena infrmed the Parliament recently. 

According to a media report, exports worth more than Rs 2.33 lakh crore are not matching with those registered by banks, pointing to major irregularities in the export values declared by exporters.

To prevent this irregularity, the government has asked the RBI to set up an automated and unified data processing and monitoring system that will scan all exports from the country, Meena said.

Under this system, all data will flow first to the RBI server and then to authorized dealer banks. The government has already started matching export data with the direct transaction receipts generated by banks; the data received through forms filled by exporters with the Customs department; and the software exports data collected through declarations made in SOFTEX forms.

The data received from the Customs department shows exports worth more than Rs 2.33 lakh crore are not matching with the banking transactions of these firms. Similarly, the data collected through SOFTEX revealed at least Rs 1.51 lakh crore of exports are not matching with their banking transactions. 

In February, a senior RBI official had also informed about this development. 

The current system for processing of export data follows mostly a declaration-based regime, wherein exporters declare the export value to the custom authority at the time of shipment for verification and certification of the same.

Once the goods get shipped, the exporters have to lodge the relevant forms applicable in their case along with shipping documents with their Authorised Forex Dealer banks for handling of the export documents and realisation of the declared value.

After the documents are sent for collection, AD Banks report the transaction to RBI.

Under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), it is obligatory on exporters to realise and repatriate the full value of the exports within stipulated time and and the amount of full export value needs to be received through an Authorised Dealer bank (AD).

However, several irregularities have come to the fore in the recent past in these declarations and there have been several instances of mismatch between the declared value and the amount processed by the banks.