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IndiaIndia to review 'Most Favoured Nation' status to Pakistan

India to review ‘Most Favoured Nation’ status to Pakistan


New Delhi, September 27: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will review 's unilateral granting of the ‘Most Favoured Nation' (MFN) status to Pakistan under the WTO rules.

A meeting to this effect will be held on Thursday and will be attended by top officials of the government, including Commerce and External Affairs, top sources in the government said.

The review comes amid a clamour to take action against the country in the backdrop of the September 18 Uri attack.

India granted the MFN status to Pakistan in 1996. Pakistan has not given a similar status to India.

The MFN status to Pakustan was accorded in 1996 under WTO's General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

According to Assocham, out of India's total merchandise trade of $641 billion in 2015-16, Pakistan accounted for a meagre $2.67 billion.

India's exports to the neighbouring country worked out to $2.17 billion, or 0.83 per cent, of the total Indian outward shipments while imports were less than $500 million, or 0.13 per cent, of the total inward shipments.

“In all, trade with Pakistan was equivalent to 0.41 per cent of India's global merchandise commerce,” Assocham secretary general DS Rawat said in the statement.

“The MFN status, or no MFN, has not made much of a difference on the bilateral trade,” he said.

“While India has granted Pakistan the MFN status, Islamabad had not responded. But even with the MFN status, Pakistan's exports to India remained less than half a billion dollars,” he added.

The major items of Indian export to Pakistan include organic chemicals, vegetables, cotton, plastics and processed food waste, like fodder.

Items of Indian imports from Pakistan include cottons, fruits and nuts, mineral fuels, wax, sulphur, lime, cement and hides.

“Going forward, as things stand today, it is almost no movement seen in the immediate future. Even the symbolic presence of Pakistan exhibitors at the annual India Trade Fair (IITF) in November in New Delhi is not expected whether or not formal ties are snapped or not, given the present state of affairs,” Rawat said.

Assocham said “India Inc. is fully behind Prime Minister Narendra Modi for steering India's interest in the best possible directions”.

“India's strategic decisions are fully the domain of the government, which enjoys the full backing of the nation,” Rawat added.

At another review meeting here on Monday, Prime Minister Modi directed that the Indus Water Treaty with Pakistan be revisited.

“Blood and water cannot flow together,” Modi said at the meeting to review the Indus Water Treaty signed by India and Pakistan in 1960.

It was decided that the meetings of Indus water commissioners, that are held to resolve disputes, will now be held “only in an atmosphere free of terror”. — With agencies

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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