PM Narendra Modi postpones meeting to review MFN status to Pakistan till next week
Withdrawal of the MFN status by India is likely to hurt Pakistani industries as it might stop flow of raw materials at competitive prices.
New Delhi: The meeting, earlier scheduled to be convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status granted to Pakistan on Thursday, has been postponed till next week.
"The meeting regarding MFN and related logistics scheduled for today is postponed to next week," official sources said here.
In the backdrop of Uri attack, India has decided to take a relook at the MFN status granted to Pakistan including options like withdrawing it or filing a case in WTO against them.
The decision to review the MFN by PM Modi came in the wake of the Uri attack over which India is weighing options to respond.
The meeting, earlier scheduled to be held at 11 am today, could have deliberated upon the option of dragging Pakistan in the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) dispute settlement mechanism for not according a similar status to India.
Among others, officials from Commerce and External Affairs ministries were expected to attend the meeting.
India granted the MFN status to Pakistan in 1996 but Pakistan is yet to reciprocate to that. The neighbouring country has missed its own deadline of December 2012 for this.
Under MFN, a WTO member country is obliged to treat other trading nation in a non-discriminatory manner, especially with regard to customs duty and other levies.
According to experts, withdrawal of the MFN status by India is likely to hurt Pakistani industries as it might stop the flow of raw materials at competitive prices.
In 2015-16, India's exports to Pakistan stood at USD 2.17 billion, while imports were USD 441 million.
As per the WTO rules, India can roll back the MFN status from Pakistan.
Earlier, the Prime Minister chaired a review meeting of 56-year-old Indus Water Treaty during which it was decided that India will "exploit to the maximum" the water of Pakistan-controlled rivers, including Jhelum, as per the water-sharing pact.
The major Indian exports to Pakistan include items like organic chemicals, vegetables, cotton, plastics and processed food waste, like fodder, while imports from Pakistan include cottons, fruits and nuts, mineral fuels, wax, sulphur, lime, cement and hides.
India, which has blamed militants from Pakistan for the Uri attack, has been moving on several fronts against Pakistan as part of its response to isolate the neighbouring country diplomatically for "exporting terror".