Pak to normalise bilateral trade with India: Sharma | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Pak to normalise bilateral trade with India: Sharma

delhi Updated: Dec 07, 2011 14:13 IST

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Pakistan has agreed to normalise its trade relations with India by opening its market to all but a few Indian items, commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma informed the Rajya Sabha.

The two countries agreed last month that as a move to normalise bilateral trade, Pakistan will transit from the current positive approach to a negative list system, he said during Question Hour.

Sharma was asked as to when Pakistan will grant the most favoured status (MFN) to India.

Under the present arrangement, Pakistan allows import of about 1,900 items from India, which are in its positive list.

On the other hand, India permits import of all but a few Pakistani items which are in the Indian negative list. New Delhi has been seeking a similar system of trade from Islamabad so that more Indian goods can reach the Pakistani market.

Sharma said Pakistan has agreed to have a small negative list, which will be notified by February next year paving way for larger market access to Indian goods in the neighbouring country.

"The consultation process on devising this negative list is almost complete," he said.

After Pakistan announces the negative list approach, Sharma said he will lead a delegation to the neighbouring country.

Even the small negative list will be phased out by 2012-end, amounting to grant of MFN treatment to India by Pakistan, Sharma said.