The Indian Trade Service (ITS Officer), Group ‘A’ Civil Service, was created to be held responsible for handling India’s international trade & commerce on the basis of the recommendations of the Mathur Committee in 1965. At present, Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Ministry of Commerce is the committee for handling authority of the ITS, also have many regional offices across India, and thus plays an important role in India’s foreign trade with its policy formulation and implementation.
The Department is controlled by a Secretary who is then helped/ assisted by a Special Secretary & Financial Adviser, three Additional Secretaries, thirteen Joint Secretaries and Joint Secretary level officers and a good number of other senior officers. It is taken care that the more increase in workload in matters of World Trade Organization (WTO), Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs), free trade agreements (FTAs), Special Economic Zones (SEZs), joint study groups (JSGs) etc., two posts each of Joint Secretaries and Directors were given birth in the Department during 2008-09.
The ITS Officer (Indian Trade Service) is functionally organized into the following eight Divisions:
- Administration and General Division
- Finance Division
- Economic Division
- Trade Policy Division
- Foreign Trade Territorial Division
- State Trading & Infrastructure Division
- Supply Division
- Plantation Division.
Work profile of ITS Officer:
While giving shape to the foreign trade policy that sees the gamut of trade promotion and facilitation activities for mainline the chain of economic activities which would raise India’s external trade.
Putting of the foreign trade policy in action with the help of the regional offices of the Directorate General of Foreign Trade that consists of cognate activities such as remission of the duties leased on exports, granting permissions for imports/ exports, trade facilitation, interface with different trade agencies and head chambers of commerce, interaction with Customs and State governments, interaction with SEZs.
Trade policy bargains for India at the multilateral forum of the World Trade Organization. These negotiations call for a deft balancing of the needs of our domestic industry for making it ensure that optimum protection and exports are not only for just earning foreign exchange but also to invigorate economic growth and get more employment opportunities. ITS officers also have been presenting India at different WTO forums.
ITS officers are playing a significant role in trade negotiations with different countries. Negotiating bilateral and multilateral trade agreements with trading partners consisting of the formulation and implementation of FTAs, PTAs, TTTs, EHPs etc.
Officers of the Indian Trade Service following the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping (DGAD) have been nicely handling dumping by the trading nations and the second largest imposed of anti-dumping duties is India only.
Export promotion activities under the forecast of the Export Promotion Councils and the head chambers of export promotion like FIEO, FICCI, CII, NASSCOM, EEPC etc. These consists of expertise in organizing the Buyer-Seller meets, Open Houses, Exhibitions, Participation in Fairs, providing policy inputs to the government etc.
To make an effective interface mechanism between the government and the primary shareholders with the help of academies such as the Board of Trade.
Creating the framework for Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) in trade transactions in order to impart transparency, save time and ensure economy.
Quality management and quality assurance with the help of effective inspection and risk calculation of export consignments.
The Service has also been used effectively utilized in the following areas also:
- Ministries and departments which are having important activities related to trade ( MEA Commercial wing )
- Foreign commercial missions ( Trade consular in main embassies in the world)
- Special Economic Zones
Currently, the ITS officers are controlling the trade activities as Development Commissioners in different SEZs. (SEZ policy was given birth to by a team of senior ITS officers in place of the government of India). In fact, giving services in the different Indian Commercial Consulates by the ITS officers is the upcoming view if the trade gets to gain further healing.
Career progression of ITS Officer:
ITS officers usually begin their careers as Assistant DGFTs Dynamism on the trade front is reflected in a big way by the positions occupied by ITS officials in Ministry of Commerce and other International Trade agencies ( WTO, UN ESCAP, Trade Boards etc. ) Individual officers are recruited in the DGFT, DGAD, Trade policy division, Trade dispute settlement, other wings of Department of Commerce and many other Ministries and in Export Promotion Councils and Trade bodies, Major Trade consulates, Indian Mission at Geneva, UN Economic agencies etc.