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India likely to resist Pakistan’s GSP Plus status

India likely to resist Pakistan’s GSP Plus status

LAHORE: India’s commerce ministry has planned to protest against granting of GSP Plus status to Pakistan by European Union, Customs top officials disclosed. The officials said that India would try to convince EU within a month’s time before the new GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) regime gets operational.

The GSP Plus status, which is about granting zero customs duty on textile imports from Pakistan, will have profound effect on regional competitiveness of India’s textile industry, its second largest employment sector after agriculture, officials added.

India’s exports to EU, which accounted for 17% of the country’s total exports, shrank by over 4% in 2012-13 to $50 billion.

The officials said that Indian commerce ministry will ask Brussels to reconsider the decision by the European Commission to end the preferential tariff system for imports from India and other developing nations. The decision of granting GSP Plus status to Pakistan will make Indian textile goods more expensive for importers to anywhere between 6% and 12%.

Zero customs duty on imports from developing nations under GSP is an exception to the World Trade Organization obligations to member states to give every other member equal and non-discriminatory treatment under the ‘Most Favored Nation’ (MFN) status. Other products to be excluded from the preferential import tariff include bicycles, aircraft, spacecraft, ships and boats.