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As part of the Government’s initiative to facilitate trade, Central Board of Excise and Customs has been taking several steps towards ease of doing business. One such recent initiative has been to encourage the trade to replace paper documents required by law to be preserved with electronic documents and to use digitally signed invoices in Central Excise and Service Tax. During the Budget exercise of 2015, legal provisions were amended with twin purpose of providing that the invoices issued by manufacturers or service providers can be digitally signed and to enable manufacturers or a service providers to store legally prescribed documents electronically. Now, a notification and a circular have been issued after due consultation with the trade and to prescribe the procedure and safeguards to be followed. Notification No. 18/2015-CE(NT) and Instruction issued from F.No 224/44/2014-CX.6 are available on the website www.cbec.gov.in. Besides improving ease of doing business and being environment-friendly, these initiatives are also expected to reduce transaction cost for the business. 

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