|Formed||1965 (CTS), 1985(ITS)|
|Training ground||Foundation : LBSNAA or affiliated institutes|
|Controlling authority||Ministry of Commerce, Directorate General of Foreign Trade|
|Legal personality||Government, Government service, career bureaucrats|
|General nature||Foreign Trade Policy Formulation|
Foreign Trade Policy Implementation
International Trade negotiations
Trade disputes settlement
Export promotion activities through training and development (Niryat Bandhu)
|Preceding service||Central Trade Service|
The Indian Trade Service (ITS), Group ‘A’ Civil Service, was created as a specialized cadre to handle India's international trade & commerce on the basis of the recommendations of the Mathur Committee (Study Team on the Import and Export Trade Control Organization headed by Sri H.C. Mathur, Member of Parliament) in 1965. At present Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), under Ministry of Commerce, is the cadre controlling authority of the ITS. DGFT has 38 regional offices across India, and plays a significant role in promoting India's international trade with its policy formulation and implementation.
The Department of commerce is headed by a Secretary who is assisted by a Special Secretary & Financial Adviser, three Additional Secretaries, thirteen Joint Secretaries and Joint Secretary level officers and a number of other senior officers. Keeping in view the large increase in workload in matters related to 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 created in the Department during 2008-09.
The Department is functionally organized into the following nine Divisions:
The main role of ITS officers can be divided into five parts:
ITS officers contribute to the making of International Trade Policy formulation for India. India's foreign trade policy (FTP) is a five-year policy document, revised midway after two and half years. The current foreign trade policy in effect is the FTP 2015-20. The foreign trade policy of India is a single document that strives to provide a stable and sustainable policy environment for foreign trade in both merchandise and services. It aims to help various sectors of Indian economy to gain global competitiveness.
Indian Trade Service officers are involved in formulation and drafting of the policy. They also provide key inputs from the field offices regarding international trade matters which is subsequently taken up for review while making of the policy.
Apart from making the trade policy for the country, ITS officers also involve themselves in coordinating with various other ministries for taking stands on trade matters at international forums such as World Trade Organisation. For this purpose, there is a WTO cell at the Directorate General of foreign Trade. In addition, coordination for board of trade for inter state and central government consultation in the area of international trade policy formulation is also managed by ITS officers.
There has been a study by Frost and Sullivan recently where it has been recommended that role of ITS officers may be increased further in the area of policy formulation in coming future.
Foreign Trade Policy of India is implemented in the country through 38 field offices of DGFT, commonly known as Regional Authorities (RAs). These field offices are manned and headed by ITS officers who facilitate international trade from India. In addition many Special Economic Zones are also headed by ITS officers. Under current Foreign Trade Policy of India, the gamut of implementation includes:
Indian trade service officers are involved in developing entrepreneurs in the area of international trade through various training and development initiatives. The initiatives are popularly known as 'Niryat Bandhu' initiatives which translates into 'Friends of exporters'. It is a part of push by Government of India under various schemes such as 'Skill India' and 'Make in India'. Under Niryat Bandhu scheme, ITS officers undertake various development activities such as:
In addition, officers in the field level conduct policy level studies for providing inputs for future policy making in the area for export promotion.
|Grade||Position/Role||Years of service|
|Addl Director General of Foreign Trade (JS level)||Policy makers in the area of international trade. Heads of Zones. Development commissioners at various special economic zones etc.||19th year onwards|
|Jt. Director General of Foreign Trade - Director scale||Providing inputs for policy making at department of commerce and DGFT. Heading various field offices of DGFT. Handling responsibilities at various multilateral and international organizations. Part of key negotiation teams at international forums in the matter of trade.||14 year onwards|
|Joint Director General of Foreign Trade||Field postings at DGFT field offices, implementing foreign trade policy of India, Export promotion activities, providing policy inputs for policy making in the area of international trade, Interacting with state governments, export promotion bodies, running training programs. At department of commerce, acting as key players in negotiation teams, as investigating officer for anti-dumping investigations and at various divisions of department of commerce. Part of policy making if posted at DGFT headquarters.||9th year to 14th year|
|Deputy Director General of Foreign Trade||Field postings at DGFT field offices, implementing foreign trade policy of India, Export promotion activities, providing policy inputs for policy making in the area of international trade, Interacting with state governments, export promotion bodies, running training programs. At department of commerce, acting as part of negotiation team at international level, as investigating officer for anti-dumping investigations and at various divisions of department of commerce||4th year to 9th year|
|Assistant Director General of Foreign Trade||Probation, training and posting at field offices (RAs) of DGFT, Department of commerce||Initial|