Mumbai: India will take up the issue of Pakistan
limiting access to trade for India under the South Asia
Free Trade Area (SAFTA) at the Saarc ministerial council
meeting in October. The government, however, made it
clear that tariff concessions offered to Islamabad would
ministerial council could be held in October. We would
be raising the issue of Pakistan not giving us market
access under SAFTA," Jairam Ramesh, minister of
state for commerce, said on the sidelines of a conference
in New Delhi.
India remained committed to the agreement to offer tariff
concessions and make unilateral efforts to reduce non-tariff
barriers on products of export interest of to Saarc
member countries, Pakistan''s decision to limit the number
of items on the positive list for trade with India violates
the spirit of the free trade pact, he said.
most Saarc countries trade under liberalised tariff
with each other in all items except those mentioned
in their respective negative list since SAFTA came into
effect on July 1, this year, Pakistan has decided to
import only a limited number of products from India
under its positive list.
had raised the issue at SAARC forums, but without much
success as Pakistan remained adamant on its stand. Commerce
Ministry officials also said it was unlikely that Pakistan
would allow import of more Indian goods.