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Charge on certifying tech export bills to go [India Business] [Times of India]
[August 09, 2014]

Charge on certifying tech export bills to go [India Business] [Times of India]

(Times of India Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) COIMBATORE: The Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) will not charge any fee for certifying export invoices of IT (information technology) companies from March next year as the entire process would migrate to an online platform making it totally seamless, a top official said.

The STPI has however made it clear that there is no going back on the stipulation that IT companies have to get certification for each and every export invoice. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in a circular, had said that all export invoices should be certified by STPI.

"There is merit in the (RBI) instruction. We will be able to capture all the data in a better way," said Omkar Rai, Director General, STPI. "We need data. Without data how can we plan? The industry should see it in a pragmatic manner," he said on the sidelines of 'Connect Coimbatore 2014', the annual IT event organised by CII here on Thursday.

The export threshold limit was $25000 earlier but exporters of software services/products must now get export invoices certified from STPI even if the value of the transaction is as low as $1 raising concerns in the industry that it would affect small and medium IT units adversely. STPI however allayed the apprehensions. "It is a misplaced concern. It (certification) is in the interest of everybody," Rai said.

The ERP (enterprise resource planning) project for ensuring that certification is done in a seamless manner has been awarded to Infosys and would be available from March, he said. "We will not charge anything. IT companies are not required to pay any transaction fee," Rai said IT companies would be required to visit the STPI office only for important work such as obtaining the letter of permission and renewals, he said. STPI, which comes under the Ministry of Communication and IT, charges a small fee for certifying export invoices now.

The fee, which could be as low as Rs 4, 000 per certification, has not been revised for the past 20 years, a senior STPI official said. The STPI ploughs back the entire money to develop the industry, which includes setting up of incubation centres, he said.

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