Govt will respond to India’s import duty decision

  • 26-Feb-2019
  • Govt will respond to India’s import duty decision

Pakistan is considering several options in response to the Indian government’s decision of imposing 200 percent import duty on all goods originating or exported from Pakistan.

“We are examining many options, but a final decision will be taken in consultations of top leadership of the country,” said an official of the ministry of commerce. He further said that government would give its response to the Indian’s government decision, without disclosing further details. “Yes we’re thoroughly examining the issue and we will take the decision after due consideration,” said Minister for State for Revenue Hammad Azhar last week when he was asked about the imposition of a 200 per cent Regulatory Duty (RD) on non-essential Indian imports.

Trade between two countries has been halted since February 16 after the Indian government imposed the duty on exporting from Pakistan following the death of more than 40 Indian soldiers in Pulwama terror attack. The Indian government had also announced to withdraw the ‘Most Favoured Nation’ status accorded to Pakistan with immediate effect in the aftermath of the terror attack. The status was granted by India in 1995.

Indian exports to Pakistan are worth $1.8b while Pakistan’s exports to India are worth $350m

However, the officials in ministry of commerce believed that Indian’s decisions would not cost any loss to Pakistan’s economy; rather it would harm the Indian’s economy. “Pakistan’ annual exports to the country are worth few million dollars, while Indian is exporting more from Pakistan,” said another official. The volume of trade between India and Pakistan is approximately $2.15 billion. Indian exports to Pakistan are worth $1.8 billion, while Pakistan’s exports to India are worth $350 million.

Meanwhile, Pakistani business community has called on India for defusing tension with Pakistan. “South Asia has great potential for intra-regional trade and India should lead the efforts for regional integration instead of creating conditions that would promote disintegration, discourage investment and create unemployment in the region,” Ahmed Hassan Moughal, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said while addressing a meeting of ICCI Executive Committee at Chamber House.

He has called upon the Indian leadership to take measures for defusing rising tension between India and Pakistan in the wake of Pulwama incident as the South Asian Region needed durable peace to make economic development & progress and fight growing poverty. He said that with the hectic efforts of the current Pakistani leadership, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and other countries are taking interest to invest in Pakistan, but the rising tension between Pakistan and India would be harmful for business and economic activities and discourage new investment in the region.

Rafat Farid, Senior Vice President, and Iftikhar Anwar Sethi,Vice President ICCI, said that the countries around the world were creating regional economic blocks for promoting trade and economic development. However, South Asia was the least integrated region due to tense relations between some regional countries. They said that India should show maturity and play role for creating a strong economic block in South Asia for reducing poverty and uplifting living standards of people.

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