India permits Pakistan to re-export dried dates

Islamabad [Pakistan]: Indian customs permitted Pakistan to re-export the dried date shipments, which were stuck at the Attari border check post ever since the trade activities between the two neighbours were virtually halted following the Pulwama attack.

It should be recalled that New Delhi had raised basic customs duty on Pakistani exports by 200 per cent owing to which the trade activities between the two countries had effectively halted.

According to a statement released by Pakistan Ministry of Commerce, the shipments had been stuck at the border since February 16, since the Indian exporters had refused to clear the goods amid escalated tensions, reported Dawn.

In the aftermath of Pulwama attack, India had withdrawn Most Favoured Nations (MFN) status accorded to Pakistan, following which the basic customs duty on all goods exported from the country to India was raised to 200 per cent.

The increased custom duty adversely affected date producers in Pakistan, as around 96 per cent of the country’s total date exports are India-bound. Furthermore, they were deprived of India’s huge market for the sale of their product.

The MFN status to Pakistan was given by India in 1996. Most Favoured Nation status is given to an international trade partner to ensure non-discriminatory trade between all partner countries of the WTO.

A country which provides MFN status to another country has to provide concessions, privileges, and immunity in trade agreements. It is the first clause in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).


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