NEW DELHI: The government today said it has started the process of setting up a national committee to coordinate and implement the WTO’s trade facilitation agreement (TFA).

The cabinet has approved the constitution of the national committee on trade facilitation (NCTF) under the chair of cabinet secretary, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

The committee will facilitate the ease of doing trade through effective cooperation between custom authorities and relevant stakeholders, she said.

“yes,” she said on a question whether it is a fact that government has started the process to set up the committee.

She also said that through TFA, WTO members are encouraged to share information on best practices in managing customs compliance.

TFA will lead to simplification of trade procedures and help promote cross-border trade, bring greater predictability to traders and reduce transaction costs.

Replying to a separate question, the minister said the government has taken various steps to track the trade restrictive measures of other countries through various mechanisms such as regular interaction, organizing workshops on important issues like standards and monitoring of draft notifications of member countries.

“India’s position is that issues related to labour and environment should be dealt in the appropriate forum,” she said adding India have also maintained that in the WTO negotiations first the agenda of Doha round of trade negotiations should be completed.

At the WTO ministerial conference held at Nairobi in December 2015, some members wished to identify and discuss issues other than the remaining issue in the Doha Development Agenda and mostly developing country members did not agree.

It was agreed in Nairobi that any decision to launch negotiations multilaterally on such issues would have to be taken by consensus, she said.