India and Pakistan are all set to see a new era of trade as Pakistan has assured India to dismantle the negative list by October and also grant it the Most Favoured Nation status by the end of this year.
Commerce secretary SR Rao, who returned to India after holding talks with his Pakistani counterpart Munir Qureshi, announced this here on Saturday.
Talking to reporters, Rao said, "It was a successful visit and various key decisions were taken that would go a long way in improving trade and commerce between the two countries.
Giving details, Rao said, "Pakistan has agreed to dismantle the negative list by end of October and now it is certain that the tradable items through Attari will grow. Once Pakistan dismantles the negative list, India will also do that, paving way for better trade relations."
In an international agreement, the negative list is a list of those items, entities, products, etc, to which the agreement will not apply.
Saying key issues were discussed during the meeting, Rao added that they had also offered Pakistan to sell them 100 locomotives and a gas pipeline.
The Gas Authority of India was likely to sign an agreement with the Pakistani agency in a couple of months. The plan is to pipe 5 million cubic metre gas per day into Pakistan for their use, he added.
The commerce secretary said they had discussed about increasing the aerial connectivity between the two capitals and operate daily flights between Delhi and Islamabad.
During this seventh round of commerce-secretary-level talks, a decision was taken to increase the frequency of goods trains between India and Pakistan through Attari and about starting trade through the Manabau border of Rajasthan.
Rao said the decision on increasing the rail frequency via Attari was taken so that more goods could be transported.
The two countries also decided that the cement clinker currently imported from Pakistan by road would now be imported by rail, as it would be economical and environment friendly.
The two countries also decided to establish the Common Business Council that would work for promotion of trade relations. The countries will exchange the names of business leaders that would represent the council in the next 15 days.