Take Pak off FEMA negative list with security approval: Jairam Ramesh

January 18th, 2008 - 8:26 pm ICT by admin  

By Ravinder Singh Robin
Wagah, Jan.18 (ANI): Union Minister of State for Commerce, Jairam Ramesh, today called for allowing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from Pakistan by removing that country from the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) negative list, but cautioned that such step should be subject to security approval.
Addressing a news conference after a review meeting at the Attari Land Customs Station (LCS) here, Ramesh said that with Bangladesh already out of the negative list, he saw no reason for Pakistan to remain in it indefinitely.
He said that he was personally in favour of removing Pakistan from the list, though the Indian security agencies were reluctant to give the nod.
“If there are apprehensions that Dawood Ibrahim would invest in India, then his investments have already come into India,” he said.
FDI could be allowed from Pakistan on case-to-case basis subject, he added.
Commenting on the potential for cross-border trade, Ramesh said India had sent a list of 14 items to the Pakistan Government, which had approved nine items, which included sub-items like carpets, handicrafts, furniture, silk, dry fruits, flower and spices, saffron, wazwan, medicinal herbs and coriander.
He further said that New Delhi has identified Slamabad in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch District as the point for cross-border trade along the Line of Control (LoC).
He confirmed that trade was to begin in January, but owing to the current political turmoil in Pakistan, it was not expected to begin before this year’s SAARC summit to be held in July.
Replying a question, Ramesh said that Pakistan is yet to grant Most Favored Nation (MFN) status to India even though the export of Indian goods to Pakistan in the last financial year had touched 1.4 billion dollars,. He said that Pakistan must be having reservations about India’s economic and commercial prowess, just as India had its concerns about China’s manufacturing prowess and penchant for marketing goods at rates that were far cheaper to what was available elsewhere in the globe.
Ramesh said that India feels that China does not have a transparent economy, no balance sheet or accountability.
If we open our markets for them, they would dump their goods in Indian markets. This is the fear we have in our minds,”he added.(ANI)

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