Relaxing trade with India should have stages

KARACHI: Muhammad Yasin Siddik, Chairman, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), has advised the federal government that the decision to relax trading links with India should have to be in stages and only open up sectors in the first stage where Pakistani businesses and industries do not feel threatened at a large scale.

In a statement issued to the press, Siddik said that the importance of regional trade could not be denied but the decision to liberalize the trade would need to be made keeping in view the developmental stage in different industries and the level playing field should be given due importance while granting MFN status to India.

Chairman APTMA further said that the higher cost of production in a relatively smaller economy in comparison to India would make Pakistani Industries vulnerable to tough competition and would adversely affect our industries which were not so competitive in terms of prices.

He further said that in order to provide a level playing field, the duty structure between the two countries should be equal and on reciprocal basis without any discrimination and Non-tariff barriers hurting exports to India be removed immediately.

He pointed out that there was no parity between Pakistan and India in the rates of customs duties of similar products, e.g. in case of cotton yarn Government of Pakistan had allowed duty free import of cotton yarn vide SRO 15(I)/2010 dated 6th January 2010 whereas there was 23% total import duty including 10% basic custom duty, 6% to 12% Capital Value Duty (CVD), 3% Custom Education Cess and 4% Special CVD on import of cotton yarn in India. Similarly export of cotton fabrics to India attracts over all 25% whereas there is only 15% custom duty in Pakistan.