Pakistan is thinking about multiple options to reduce bilateral trade with India. Pakistan may consider a complete ban on imports from India or an increase in tax and duty rates, said commerce ministry source.
The volume of trade between India and Pakistan is almost $2.15 billion. Indian exports to Pakistan are worth $1.8 billion, while Pakistan’s exports to India are worth $350 million.
As a result of the Pulwama attack, India dismissed Pakistan’s Most-Favoured Nation status, which affects trade. India also raised duties on major Pakistani products to mark protest.
After duties were suddenly increased 200%, nearly 300 trucks carrying cement, one of Pakistan’s major exports to India, stuck at the Wagah border. This made importing them very expensive or nearly impossible. Shipments of 170 containers by sea also came to a halt.
In the last financial year, Pakistan sold India $23 million worth of cement. Fruit and vegetable exporters will also bear the brunt of the reaction since they exported $41 million in production.
Pakistani economist Dr. Ashfaq Hassan Khan told media that trade between the two countries is based on quick imports from India to bridge a gap in case there is any shortage of products like tomatoes, onions or sugar. “We are not dependent on India as far as trade is concerned because there are no normal trade ties between the two counties,” Khan added.
“Extremist elements in the Indian government are fueling anti-Pakistan sentiments in an effort to win the upcoming elections while the other reason behind this conspiracy seems to be the hearing of the case against India’s Kulbhushan Jadhav in the International Court of Justice,” Khan said.
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