The union cabinet on Friday approved a reduction of 30 per cent, involving 264 tariff lines, from the sensitive list for imports from SAFTA nations that do not come under the list of least developed countries as well.
Accordingly, import of sensitive items from countries other than least developed countries (LDCs) will attract peak tariff rate of 5 per cent only within three years, as per agreed SAFTA process of tariff liberalisation.
This will reduce India's sensitive list for Pakistan from 878 to 614 tariff lines. With this decision, India has effectively performed its lead role in harmonising the SAFTA framework and ensuring move towards a vibrant economic community and move towards normalisation of trade relations with Pakistan, an official release said today.
India has, in the last one year, steered the trade liberalisation process under SAFTA so as to accelerate the pace of the process for economic integration of SAFTA.
India had, in November 2011, reduced its sensitive list for the least developed countries under SAFTA to 25 tariff lines, thus allowing all other imports at zero basic customs duty. The trade liberalization move has benefited Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives and Nepal.
India resumed a bilateral trade dialogue with Pakistan in April 2011 and has sustained discussions at various levels resulting in the drawing up of a roadmap for an irreversible trade liberalisation process.