Pakistan allows more imports from India
19 Jul 2008
Mumbai: Pakistan has added 136 commodities to the positive list of items that can be sourced from India and allowed import of diesel and CNG buses from India, giving a boost to bilateral trade.
Under the new trade policy for 2008-09 unveiled by commerce minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, Pakistan would also allow import of CNG buses as test consignments by any Indian manufacturer who made a firm commitment to establish units to make such vehicles in Pakistan.
''Cheaper raw material sourced from India would make our exports more competitive in the international market," Mukhtar said as a cabinet meeting chaired by prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani approved the new trade policy.
''We are allowing import of diesel and fuel oil from India because it will be cheaper due to the difference in transportation cost. This will also help us to address our global trade deficit," Mukhtar, an industrialist whose family owns one of Pakistan's largest industrial groups, said.
He also said the customs duty on imported CNG buses has been cut from 15 per cent to zero in the 2008-09 budget.
''In case any Indian manufacturer of CNG buses makes a firm commitment to establish manufacturing of such buses in Pakistan, the ministry of commerce may provide special dispensation for import of 10 buses by road via Wagah from each possible investor as a test consignment," he added.
Senior officials of India and Pakistan, meanwhile, reviewed ways to boost bilateral trade and transport services, besides discussing methods for the effective implementation of existing cross-Line of Control (LoC) measures.
The meeting of the India-Pakistan Working Group on cross-LoC CBMs was held here in "a cordial and constructive atmosphere", a joint statement at the end of the day-long talks said.
The two countries will hold high level dialogue on issues ranging from the Kashmir dispute to trade promotion 21 July.