No progress on agreed trade road map of India, Pakistan: Nirmala Sitharaman

Nirmala also said Pakistan is yet to transition fully to the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status for India.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Published: March 15, 2017 7:16 pm
Trade facilitation agreement, World Trade organisation, WTO, Nirmala Sitharaman, SItharaman, Trade facilitation pact, TFA, TFA geneva, business news, indian express news Commerce & Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. PTI Photo 

India and Pakistan have not held any bilateral trade meeting since 2014 and there is no progress on the agreed road map, the government informed Parliament Wednesday. The commerce ministers of India and Pakistan had met in January 2014 on the sidelines of the 5th SAARC Business Leaders Conclave here.

At that meeting, both the ministers reaffirmed the commitment to expeditiously establish normal trading relations and provide Non-Discriminatory Market Access (NDMA) on a reciprocal basis in this context.

“No bilateral trade meeting between India and Pakistan has taken place since then, and there is no progress on the agreed road map,” Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

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Both the sides have also decided to intensify and accelerate the process of trade normalisation, liberalisation and facilitation.

She also said Pakistan is yet to transition fully to the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status for India. It maintains a negative list of 1,209 products which are not allowed to be imported from India.

In addition, Pakistan also permits only 137 products to be imported from India through Wagah-Attari border land route. The bilateral trade between the countries stood at USD 2.61 billion in 2015-16 compared to USD 2.35 billion in the previous fiscal. To a separate question, she said meat exports during April-January 2016-17 aggregated Rs 22,074 crore as against Rs 27,610 crore in 2015-16.

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