Cabinet clears SAARC-related pacts

October 3rd, 2008 - 9:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Oct 3 (IANS) The cabinet Friday approved the ratification of three SAARC-related pacts that will enhance development and trade in the region.The cabinet agreed to ratify the charter of SAARC Development Fund (SDF) that is set to accelerate the implementation of various regional and sub-regional projects in the South Asian region.

“It will help in transforming South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) from declaratory to implementation phase,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi told reporters after a cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The cabinet also cleared the protocol of accession of Afghanistan to an agreement on South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) that will sped up the process of Kabul’s formal joining of SAFTA.

“It will also help in full implementation of SAFTA by putting pressure on Pakistan to adhere to SAARC norms for the Sensitive List and give transit to Afghanistan,” Dasmunsi said.

Another agreement on the establishment of South Asian Regional Standards Organization (SARSO) was also approved by the cabinet.

“It will accelerate full implementation of SAFTA by harmonizing the standards in SAARC,” Dasmunsi pointed out.

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