India to lift restrictions on import of 20 items from Pakistan
08 Aug 2007
Mumbai: India will remove restrictions on import of 20 items from Pakistan without insisting on most favoured nation status and transit facility for Afghanistan, commerce secretary Asif Ali Shah said.
The commerce ministry would consult all stakeholders before communicating the list of 20 items of Pakistan''s preference, newspapers quoted Shah as saying. He said India made the offer without insisting on MFN status and transit facility for Afghanistan.
The list, to be prepared in consultation with business and industry, would comprise items which Pakistan can export easily, without affecting domestic needs, he said.
"I hope that Pakistan''s exports to India will increase to a reasonable level," Shah said.
The two-day talks held in New Delhi under the fourth round of composite dialogue process were followed by a meeting of Joint Study Group (JSC) of the two countries.
Shah said India also showed readiness to import Pakistani cement and for this purpose, six cement factories have been selected.
The 20 items of interest to Pakistan are to be included in the list of 484 items on which Islamabad allows to trade with New Delhi.
Bilateral trade between the two countries currently stands at $1.67 billion with balance of trade heavily in favour of India.
Pakistan, meanwhile, has sought a level-playing field for its farm produce in India as it feels that the agriculture subsidies given by New Delhi is depriving it of the benefits of free trade in the subcontinent.