12,224.55-127.8
Stock Analysis, IPO, Mutual Funds, Bonds & More

SAFTA: You take one step, we will take two, says Anand Sharma

India also sought quick conclusion of the Saarc agreement on trade and services that will encourage pvt commercial flow of capital.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Feb 17, 2012, 03.18 AM IST
0Comments
Commerce Minister Anand Sharma with his Pakistani counterpart Makhdoom Amin Fahim in Islamabad. AFP
Commerce Minister Anand Sharma with his Pakistani counterpart Makhdoom Amin Fahim in Islamabad. AFP
ISLAMABAD: India has said it has been unilaterally taking steps to integrate with countries in the Saarc region, but it was time others reciprocate by reducing their list of protected items under the South Asian Free Trade Area, or SAFTA.

New Delhi also sought quick conclusion of the Saarc agreement on trade and services that will encourage private commercial flow of capital. "Many countries import substantially from India and we do not get any trade preferences under Safta. Enhancement of trade in Saarc region may only remain an elusive dream unless these steps are taken," Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said at the sixth Safta ministerial meeting in Islamabad on Thursday. Sharma said India was in favour of implementing the Safta protocol, but it has been taking asymmetrical steps.

"We understand the sensitivities of other countries. If they take one step, we are prepared to take two steps," Sharma said. India has reduced the sensitive list for the least developed countries (LDCs) from 480 to 25 items and a zero duty regime has been introduced for all items not on the sensitive list.

"This has completely addressed the concerns of all Saarc LDC members as all items of their export interest are now allowed for import in India at zero duty," Sharma said. The minister said that he hoped to mitigate the trade deficit that Saarc LDCs suffered with India through these measures. The least developed countries in Saarc include Maldives, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Afghanistan while Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India are developing country members.
Comments
Add Your Comments
Commenting feature is disabled in your country/region.

Other useful Links


Copyright © 2020 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service