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MFN status to India: Govt gears up for protecting local industry

MFN status to India: Govt gears up for protecting local industry

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Commerce has sought suggestions from the National Tariff Commission (NTC) to safeguard measures, tariff and para tariffs, duties and subsidies, where deem necessary, in connection with granting most favourite nation (MFN) status to India.
“A mechanism is being developed wherein the textile and pharmaceutics sectors will have an informal advisory role at NTC with the objective to provide protection to local Industry” an official disclosed to Customs Today while requesting anonymity here.
According to the Commerce Ministry, the NTC besides enforcing and implementing trade defence laws, is mandated to advise the Ministry of Commerce on tariff measures or other forms of assistance to protecting indigenous industry.
Moreover, the Ministry of Commerce has constituted six committees with representation of public and private sectors including – Regional Trade Committee on Agriculture Sector, Regional Trade Committee on Pharmaceutical Sector, Regional Trade Committee on Auto Sector, Regional Trade Committee on Textile Sector, Wagah Trade Committee on Agriculture and Wagah Trade Committee.
Directorate of Agriculture has been established in NTC, with the objective to provide protection to local agriculture sector through prompt application of trade defence measures in case of injury or threat to any import surge from India.
Trade Monitoring Cells in the Ministry of Commerce and TDAP, Lahore have been established. The Commission has levied anti-dumping duty @ 10.94% for a period of five years on 13-02-2011 on dumped imports of phthalic anhydride imported from India. No countervailing duty has been imposed so far on any goods imported from India
It is pertinent to note here that there has been a gradual increase in bilateral trade between the two countries. However, Pakistan maintains Negative List of trade with India which contains 1,209 items.
The said items are banned for imports from India to protect the local industry. Pakistan has been demanding that the issue of Non-Tariff Barriers (NTB) be addressed to allow its exports to have adequate access to Indian market.
Moreover, both sides, in a Commerce Ministers’ meeting held in New Delhi in January reached an understanding to normalize trade relations and provide Non-Discriminatory Market Access (NDMA) on reciprocal basis.
NDMA requires elimination of Negative List on Pakistan’s side and reduction of SAFTA Sensitive List from Indian side. The Joint Statement issued pursuant to this meeting is attached as Annex IL (c) Recent studies estimate the following benefits to accrue as a result of normalization of trade relations with India:—Vis versa, Commerce Ministry expects a substantial increase in exports of Textiles, Manufactured items; Agricultural products are expected to post potential export increase to India in next three years.
Similarly, there would be considerable increase in import bill savings. GDP growth of Pakistan would be higher. There would be net increase in employment. The number of poor will decrease as a result of enhanced economic activity. There would be significant consumer welfare gains.