Saarc sensitive items list cut | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Saarc sensitive items list cut

In a move to boost trade between India and Pakistan, the cabinet on Friday approved a major slash in the number of items figuring in the list of sensitive items for SAARC’s non-least developed countries (NLDCs).

delhi Updated: Aug 19, 2012 02:09 IST
HT Correspondent

In a move to boost trade between India and Pakistan, the cabinet on Friday approved a major slash in the number of items figuring in the list of sensitive items for SAARC’s non-least developed countries (NLDCs).

Pakistan comes under the NLDC category.

The cabinet approved the reduction of 30% such items in the South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA), which came into effect from 2006. This effectively means that 264 items would be reduced from the negative list. The move would not only boost trade between India and Pakistan, but also expand the overall trade in the region.

With this decision, India’s list of sensitive items — with regard to Pakistan — will be reduced from 878 to 614 tariff lines.

“Through this, India has effectively performed a lead role in harmonising the SAFTA framework, ensuring ... normalisation of trade relations with Pakistan,” the government said in an official statement.

India’s imports, under SAFTA, are classified into two lists — sensitive, for least developed countries, and those with the most favoured nation tag. While the sensitive list – pertaining to countries such as Bangladesh — contains just 25 items, the one for NLDC countries such as Pakistan has as many as 878.

Besides this, the peak tariff rates for non-least developed nations would now be reduced to 5% within three years.