New Delhi (Agencies): In a bid to reduce exporters’ transaction costs by atleast half, the government on Tuesday announced several measures, including round-the-clock customs Clearances.

The Commerce Ministry's initiative assumes significance, as the government wants to double India's exports to USD 400 billion in the next three years.

Twenty-one steps were unveiled on recommendations of a task force headed by Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Jyotiraditya Scindia, which examined the problems faced by exporters that pushed their transactions costs.

Implementation of the 21 steps would result in reduction of business costs for exporters to the extent of Rs 2,100 crore, which, however, is considered small given the country's export value of USD 200 billion.

"I am told that quantum of transaction cost is about 7-10 per cent of total value of Indian exports. This amounts to a significant, about USD 15 billion," Finance Ministry Pranab Mukherjee said after releasing the report.

The average cost to move a container within India is USD 945, more than double the China's USD 460, Malaysia's USD 450 and Vietnam's USD 625, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said.

He said government would be announcing more steps to further bring down the cost. Those steps would be taken after consultations with other ministries like railways and shipping, he added.

"We have plucked only low-hanging fruits (these 21 steps)...," he said, adding the other steps may take some time.

The cost saving steps that were announced today include reduction of charges by the Delhi International Airport for screening express cargo and courier shipments from Rs 6 to Rs 1.65 per kg for the export courier.

The eight major ports where round-the-clock customs clearance would be provided include Vizag, Kolkata, Jamnagar, Mangalore, Bhubaneswar and Chennai.

During April-December 2010-11, India's exports grew by an impressive 29.5 per cent to USD 164.7 billion over a year-ago period and the government expects to cross the USD 200 billion export target this fiscal.