ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir has said that India cannot be considered for Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status until it reduces tax rate on Pakistani textile products as agreed.
In an interview Dastgir has said that the recommendations to grant MFN status to India have been replaced by Non-Discriminatory Market Access (NDMA) status adding that it will only be granted if India makes prominent reduction in duties imposed on imports of Pakistani products especially the textile products.
The Minister said that all preparations are finalized on federal level to grant India the new status. However, the matter is to be presented before Federal Cabinet for formal approval. The cabinet will approve the status as soon as a positive response on Pakistani reservations is received from India.
Federal minister pointed that India currently has 80 to 120 per cent duties on Pakistani textile products adding that current percentage of duty is unacceptable. He said that if India wants access to Pakistani market, the current duties have to be brought down to a maximum 5%.
Dastgir said there are other products as well that require tax reduction including chemical and medical instruments. He said that incumbent government wants to elevate relations with India on priority basis and that the government won’t let any issue come in the way.
He emphasized that the trade advancement is a bilateral matter and that if our traders, industries, farmers and economy does not benefit from this trade agreement, the matter will not proceed.