Pakistan defers decision to resume trade with India
PM commends FBR for accomplishing historic growth of 41% revenue collections
Islamabad, the federal cabinet on Thursday deferred the Economic Coordination Council (ECC) decision to resume trade with India until the Modi-led government reviews its 2019 move to abrogate the autonomous status of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said.
In an effort to cool local demand and prices, the ECC on Wednesday gave the go-ahead for the imports from India.
That move was to have ended nearly two years of trade suspension between the nuclear-armed rivals.
“It was a consensus opinion, including the prime minister, that as long as India doesn’t review Aug 5, 2019, unilateral steps it took, it wouldn’t be possible to normalize relations with India,” Qureshi added.
Federal Minister for Human rights Shireen Mazari said in a Tweet that Prime Minister Imran Khan and cabinet members made it clear that “there no normalization of relations” until New Delhi revoke its illegal action of abrogating the autonomous status of IIOJK.
Headed by newly-appointed Finance Minister Hammad Azhar, the ECC had announced to resume trade with India as part of an understanding to gradually normalize bilateral relations and ensure food security of the country that is bracing for shortages of wheat, sugar and cotton
The country had suspended bilateral trade with India on August 9, 2019 after “the Indian government’s unilateral action to change the status of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir”.
In the first place, the ECC of the cabinet, immediately allowed the import of 500,000 metric tonnes of sugar and an unspecified quantity of cotton and yarn from India to bridge the nearly three million shortfalls.
The cabinet body approved procurement of 6.3 million metric tonnes of wheat from the local farmers at the minimum price of Rs1, 800 per 40 kilogrammes.
The sugar trade was being re-opened with India this year because of the difference in prices in the neighboring country, Finance Minister Azhar said. He added that the government estimated a difference of 15-20% in sugar prices in India as compared to Pakistan.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has commended the efforts of the Federal Board of Revenue for achieving the historic growth of 41 percent revenue collections.
FBR has made record collections of 460 billion rupees in March 2021.
In a tweet, he said during July 2020 to Mar 2021 collections reached 3380 billion rupees which are 10 percent higher than the same period last year.
He said this reflects broad-based economic revival triggered by the government’s prudent policies.