Indian govt yet to discuss withdrawal of MFN status to Pakistan


The Indian government has so far not discussed the issue of withdrawal of the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to Pakistan, Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, according to a report published on Times of India.

India, she said, had extended the MFN status to Pakistan as a “goodwill gesture” way back in 1996 but unfortunately the neighbouring country has not yet extended the same to New Delhi.

“On the issue of the withdrawal of MFN from Pakistan, strictly speaking, that has not yet been discussed,” she told reporters.

The decision to withdraw the status or not will have to be taken by the government and “I cannot comment on that”, she added.

Last month, the Indian government had decided to review the MFN status given to Pakistan at a meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But the meeting was postponed.

The review decision was taken in the wake of the Uri attack .

The bilateral trade between the countries stood at $2.61 billion in 2015-16.

Talking about increasing imports from China, the minister said there is no instrument to completely stop imports from one country.

It is impossible to completely ban imports from one country, she added.

“But if one wants to restrict the imports because that country is giving more subsidy or on quality issue, then we have instruments like we can impose anti-dumping duties or safeguard measures,” she added.

In 2015-16, India’s exports to China were $9 billion, while imports were $61.7 billion, leaving a huge trade deficit of $52.7 billion.


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