Two days after India made the announcement, Advisor to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood said New Delhi has not informed Islamabad about withdrawing Pakistan’s MFN status, Geo News reported.
Mr. Dawood said, “We are looking into the withdrawal of the MFN status by India. We can speak to India about this issue”. Pakistan can raise this issue at different forums including the World Trade Organisation as both countries are members of the global trade body, he added.
India granted the MFN status to Pakistan way back in 1996. Under the MFN pact, a WTO member country is obliged to treat the other trading nation in a non-discriminatory manner, especially with regard to customs duty and other levies.
India’s decision would significantly hit Pakistan’s exports to India, which stood at $488.5 million (around ₹3,482.3 crore) in 2017-18 as it would drastically increase the prices of its goods.
“India has withdrawn the MFN status to Pakistan after the Pulwama incident. Upon withdrawal, basic customs duty on all goods exported from Pakistan to India has been raised to 200 per cent with immediate effect,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in a tweet on February 16.
The two main items imported from Pakistan are fruits and cement, on which the current customs duty is 30-50% and 7.5%, respectively.
Slapping an import duty of 200% effectively means almost banning the imports from Pakistan, official sources said in New Delhi.
Items which Pakistan exports to India include fresh fruits, cement, petroleum products, bulk minerals and ores, finished leather, processed minerals, inorganic chemicals, cotton raw, spices, wool, rubber product, alcoholic beverages, medical instruments, marine goods, plastic, dyes and sport goods.
The total India-Pakistan trade has increased marginally to $2.41 billion in 2017-18 as against $2.27 billion in 2016-17. India imported goods worth $488.5 million in 2017-18 and exported goods worth $1.92 billion.
During April-October 2018-19, India’s exports to Pakistan stood at $1.18 billion, while imports were $338.66 billion.
India mainly exports raw cotton, cotton yarn, chemicals, plastics, man-made yarn and dyes to Pakistan.
At least 40 CRPF personnel were killed and five injured on Thursday in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir when a Jaish-e-Mohammad suicide bomber rammed a vehicle with explosives into their bus in Pulwama district.