‘Pak to normalise bilateral trade with India’

Pakistan has agreed to normalise its trade relations with India by opening its market to all but a few Indian items.

New Delhi: Pakistan has agreed to normalise
its trade relations with India by opening its market to all
but a few Indian items, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand
Sharma said informed the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

The two countries agreed last month that as a move to
normalise bilateral trade, Pakistan will transit from the
current positive approach to a negative list system, he said
during Question Hour.

Sharma was asked as to when Pakistan will grant the most
favoured status (MFN) to India.

Under the present arrangement, Pakistan allows import of
about 1,900 items from India, which are in its positive list.

On the other hand, India permits import of all but a few
Pakistani items which are in the Indian negative list. New
Delhi has been seeking a similar system of trade from
Islamabad so that more Indian goods can reach the Pakistani
market.

Sharma said Pakistan has agreed to have a small negative
list, which will be notified by February next year paving way
for larger market access to Indian goods in the neighbouring
country.

"The consultation process on devising this negative list
is almost complete," he said.

After Pakistan announces the negative list approach,
Sharma said he will lead a delegation to the neighbouring
country.

Even the small negative list will be phased out by
2012-end, amounting to grant of MFN treatment to India by
Pakistan, Sharma said.

PTI

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