Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pakistan lists 12 more items for trade with India

ISLAMABAD, November 13, 2011(Tehelkanews)

Pakistan on Friday added a dozen commodities to its list of items that can be imported from India, taking the positive list that Islamabad maintains for trade with India from 1,934 to 1,946. India continues to impress upon Pakistan the need to move to a sensitive/negative list approach to help bilateral trade tap its true potential.

The decision to increase the list was taken by the Economic Coordination Committee after the Commerce Ministry informed the members that Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani — who was in Maldives on Friday — had already been briefed about the move that entailed amendments to the Import Policy Order 2009.

The decision comes just ahead of the Commerce Secretary-level talks on Monday in New Delhi where the two officials are expected to address issues in which bilateral trade is mired in a new spirit of accommodation; induced by Pakistan\'s decision to grant the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India 'in principle\' and India\'s offer of a Preferential Trade Agreement with Pakistan.

Given the criticism that Islamabad has been facing over its decision to give the MFN status to India, Pakistan is hoping for some concrete assurances from New Delhi on 'Non-Tariff Barriers\' to make further movement on the trade front sellable here. India\'s contention has been that these NTBs are not Pakistan-specific and many of these ``so-called barriers\'\' would be addressed once the Integrated Check Post at Attari gets fully commissioned.

PTI reports:

The new items sought to be added to the 'positive list\' included raw materials and machinery for leather and textile industries, officials said.

Businessmen now purchase machinery needed for the textile industry from India, but ship them into Pakistan through another country due to existing regulations barring such imports.

Businessmen told PTI that they preferred to buy such machinery from India as it was cheaper than comparable equipment available in other countries.

The Economic Coordination Committee also approved a proposal from the Interior Ministry for the import of bulletproof vehicles in the wake of an increase in terror strikes targeting people from various walks of life.

The committee also constituted a panel comprising Petroleum Minister Asim Hussain, Cabinet Secretary, Finance Secretary, Personal Secretary to the Prime Minister and Revenue Secretary to fine-tune proposals for finalising the draft of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan India pipeline project. The panel was asked to submit its report within the 'shortest time\' before the visit of the President of Turkmenistan to Pakistan.

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