No MFN status yet for India: Pakistani minister

January 18th, 2012 - 4:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Yousuf Raza Gilani Islamabad, Jan 18 (IANS) Two months after the proposal was cleared, Pakistan is yet to accord Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India, a minister has said.

Commerce Minister Amin Fahim said Tuesday said that Pakistan is in the process of normalizing trade relations with India which will culminate in the grant of MFN status.

When MFN status is granted, Pakistan will get market access to some 300 to 500 million consumers in India, the minister added.

The Pakistani cabinet, at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani Nov 2, 2011, decided to grant India MFN status. The cabinet also agreed to double bilateral trade from $2.5 billion to around $5 billion.

India had granted Pakistan MFN status in 1996 but Islamabad did not reciprocate. Ties between the two countries deteriorated after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack that India blamed on Pakistan.

According to Associated Press of Pakistan, the import of 1,958 items is allowed from India. The commerce ministry is talking to various stakeholders to identify for inclusion in the negative list the products whose import will not be allowed. This process is likely to be completed by mid-February.

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