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India is the world's seventh largest and second most populous country. India is quickly emerging as a powerful trade partner in the global economy and becoming a massive economic force in Asia.
The economy of India is twelfth largest in the world (in exchange rates, with a GDP of US $1.089 trillion) and the fourth largest in the world by purchasing power.
In 2006, India's trade reached 24% of GDP, which showed an increase of 6% than it was in 1985. Largely Indian trade represents 1% of the world's commerce.
In India, exports and imports are regulated by the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992, which replaced the Imports and Exports(Control) Act,1947, and gave the Government of India enormous powers to control it.
The salient features of the Act are as follows:-
The Director General or any other officer so authorised can suspend or
cancel a licence issued for export or import of goods in accordance with
the Act. But he does it after giving the licence holder a reasonable
opportunity of being heard.
It authorizes the Central Government to formulate and announce an Export
and Import (EXIM) Policy and also amend the same from time to time, by
notification in the Official Gazette.
It has empowered the Central Government to make provisions for development and regulation of foreign trade by facilitating imports into, and augmenting exports from India and for all matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. The Central Government can prohibit, restrict and regulate exports and imports, in all or specified cases as well as subject them to exemptions.
Under the Act, every importer and exporter must obtain a 'Importer
Exporter Code Number' (IEC) from Director General of Foreign Trade or
from the officer so authorised.
It provides for the appointment of a Director General of Foreign Trade by the Central Government for the purpose of the Act. He shall advise Central Government in formulating export and import policy and implementing the policy.
Besides the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, there are some other laws which control the export and import of goods. These include:-
The Marine Products Export Development Authority Act, 1972
The Enemy Property Act, 1968
Coffee Act, 1942
The Export (Quality Control and Inspection) Act, 1963