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India no longer being considered for MFN status: Khurram Dastagir

India no longer being considered for MFN status: Khurram Dastagir

ntISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Commerce Engineer Khurram Dastagir Khan said on Wednesday that India is no longer being considered for most-favoured nation status adding that India should first reduce tax rate on Pakistani textile products as agreed. He said that the government is working for the stability of the country and every option would be used for this purpose.

In an interview to a British media, minister said the recommendation to grant India the most favoured nation has ended and now Non-Discriminatory Market Access (NDMA) status with India is being considered adding that it will only be granted if India makes prominent reduction in duties imposed on imports of Pakistani products especially the textile products.

Khurram Dastagir 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 formal approval of which is necessary.

He said the federal 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 percent duties on Pakistani textile products adding that current percentage of duty is unacceptable. He said that if India wants non-discriminatory access to Pakistani market, the current duties have to be brought down to 0-5%.

Dastagir said there are other products as well that require tax reduction including chemical and medical instruments. He said that Nawaz Sharif’s government wants to farther 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 doesn’t benefit from this trade agreement, the matter will not proceed.

Meanwhile in an interview with a private TV channel Khurram Dastagir Khan said that the government is working for the stability of country and every option would be used for this purpose. He said that the action would be taken against Ahraul Hind, adding that the government will hold dialogues with those groups who are willing to lay down their arms.

He said that if any group is not ready for holding dialogues then the government will speak with this group in same language, adding that there are 55 groups of terrorists but there are 12 major organized groups. He said that the perception that the problem would be resolved through conducting military operation in North Waziristan Agency is wrong, adding that some part of problem could be resolved though operation. He said that the criminals are also present in form of terrorism. He said that the dialogues are an option and government has started this process with good intension.

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