Indian imports from Pakistan touch $500-m mark for 1st time

Written by Kirtika Suneja | New Delhi | Updated: Apr 29 2013, 22:07pm hrs
Rise in direct trade with Pakistan due to various relaxations has made imports from the country into India touch the $500-million mark for the first time. The April 2012-February 2013 period saw Indias exports to Pakistan increase 15% to $1.6 billion while imports grew 30% from $375 million in the year-ago period. The growth in imports was fuelled by an increase in shipment of gypsum, dry fruits and raw cotton. Besides, the important items imported from Pakistan include fruit and nuts, sulpher products, cement and cotton yarn and fabrics, cement, woven cotton fabrics, petroleum oil, organic chemicals, and plastics.

This is a good sign as trade is now happening directly between the two nations and we are hopeful of getting the most favoured nation (MFN) status from Pakistan, said a commerce ministry official, though New Delhi is unhappy with Pakistan not honouring its commitment of granting it the MFN status by December 31, 2012.

Import of gypsum from Pakistan increased by 957%, raw cotton by 148% and raw wool by 99%.

Between 2004 and 2007, the talks between the two nations resulted in three major changes an expansion ofPakistans positive list of items allowed to be imported fromIndia, opening of the road route for the first time in 2005 and an amendment of the maritime protocol which allowed trade by the sea route according to global maritime norms.

Bilateral trade increased from $0.6 billion in 2004-05 to $1.9 billion in 2011-12. Between 2010-11 and 2011-12,Pakistans exports toIndiarose by 27% from $333 million to $422 million. This has resulted in Pakistans market access to Indiaimproving considerably while India has also reduced its sensitive list by 30%.