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Import of 78 more items from India allowed

ISLAMABAD (March 21 2003) : Pakistan has allowed import of 78 more items from India with concession in tariff, despite strong opposition by the Industries and Production Ministry, sources close to Central Board of Revenue (CBR) chairman told Business Recorder here on Thursday.

The sources said the Economic Co-ordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC) three days back had approved the summary submitted by the Commerce Ministry, wherein it was decided that this should be kept secret as opposition could exploit the issue.

Commerce Minister Humayun Akhtar Khan said on several occasions that trade with India would not be enhanced till the resolution of political disputes, including the occupied Kashmir issue, but the current decision was taken as per South Asian Preferential Trading Arrangements (Sapta) among Saarc nations, the sources added.

The documents, made available to the Business Recorder suggested that during the first three rounds of deliberations in the Inter Governmental Group (IGG), Pakistan offered tariff concessions under the Sapta to India on 682 items, which have been notified by the Revenue Division under SRO 370 (I) on June 15 last year.

These items were also included in the Consolidated National Schedule of Concessions notified by the Saarc's Secretariat.

However, the positive lists of items importable from India do not include 78 items offered by Pakistan to India for concessions under the pact.

The Commerce Ministry was of the view that since 78 items offered by India for export to Pakistan were also reflected in the Consolidated National Schedule of Concessions notified by the Saarc Secretariat and SRO 370 (I) of the Revenue Division, Pakistan was bound to allow import of these items from India.

The document further revealed that the Commerce Ministry had sought the comments of the CBR, Industries Ministry and Foreign Affairs Ministry on the subject before approaching the ECC.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Revenue Division had consented with the proposal but Industries and Production Ministry had opposed the move, saying that allowing import of 78 listed goods from India might not be undesirable as these could be imported from any other country.

The ministry further said that allowing concession of Customs duties would hurt the local industry, especially milk powder, unsweetened milk and ferrous products as tariff was low on the import of these items.

The Commerce Ministry, however, was of the opinion that since the net decrease in tariff in case of powder and unsweetened milk was only 5 percent (from 25 percent to 20 percent) and in case of ferrous products only 1 percent (from 10 percent to 9 percent) respectively, it was quite an insignificant margin to cause any harm to the domestic industry.

The ministry argued that the above stated concession on these items was committed by Pakistan during the Sapta negotiations, and has been already notified by the Saarc Secretariat in the Consolidated Schedule of Concessions as well as by the Revenue Division under SRO 370 (I).

The Sixth Saarc Summit held in Colombo in December 1991 approved the establishment of an Inter Governmental Group (IGG) to formulate an agreement for Saarc Preferential Trading Arrangement (Sapta).

It reflects the desire of the Saarc countries to promote and sustain mutual trade and economic co-operation within Saarc region through exchange of tariff concessions.

The list of items, which have been allowed to import from India.

List of items granted concession under SAPTA but not included in the list of items importable from India.

===================================================================================  S No  PCT No     Description                                       Extent of Tariff                                                                     Concession under                                                               SAPTA (as a Percentage                                                                           of Tariff)  -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------  1     2          3                                                                4  ===================================================================================  1.    0402.1000  Milk in powder granules or other solid forms,                    of a fat content by weight, not exceeding 1.5 percent   20 percent  2.    0402.2100  Milk not containing added sugar or other matter         20 percent                   sweetening.  3.    0703.1000  Shallots.                                               20 percent  4.    0801.3200  Shelled cashew nuts.                                    10 percent  5.    0810.9000  Other (tamarind fresh).                                 10 percent  6.    0909.3000  Cumin black.                                            10 percent  7.    1005.1000  Maize (corn) seed.                                      10 percent  8.    1005.9000  Maize (corn) others.                                    10 percent  9.    1106.3000  Flour, meal and powder of the dried leguminous                   vegetables, of the nature of the heading of the products                   of chapter 8.                                           10 percent  10.   1203.0000  Copra.                                                  10 percent  11.   1302.3200  Guar meat.                                              10 percent  12.   1508.9000  Groundnut oil, of edible grade.                         10 percent  13.   2305.0000  Oil cakes.                                              10 percent  14.   2306.9000  Oil cakes and oil cake made of other oil seeds.         10 percent  15.   2504.9000  Other natural graphite.                                 20 percent  16.   2520.1000  Gypsum; anhydrite.                                      10 percent  17.   2525.1000  Crude mica and mica rifted into sheets or splinting.    10 percent  18.   2525.2000  Mica powder.                                            10 percent  19.   2525.3000  Mica waste.                                             10 percent  20.   2821.1000  Iron oxides and hydroxides.                             10 percent  21.   2821.2000  Earth colours.                                          10 percent  22.   2903.1400  Carbon tetrachloride.                                   10 percent  23.   3102.1000  Urea.                                                   10 percent  24.   3103.1000  Super phosphates.                                       10 percent  25.   3303.0000  Keora water.                                            10 percent  26.   3403.1100  Preparations for the treatment of textile material,                   leather, furskin or other materials.                    10 percent  27.   3506.9100  Adhesives based on rubber or plastics, other than of                   shoes adhesives.                                        10 percent  28.   3506.9900  Other adhesives, other than of shoe adhesives.          10 percent  29.   3809.9100  Finishing Agents of a kind used in Textile Industry.    10 percent  30.   3903.1100  Polymers of Styrene.                                    10 percent  31.   3910.0000  Silicone resins.                                        10 percent  32.   3920.7100  Other plates sheets, film, foil and strip, of plastics                   of regenerated cellulose.                               10 percent  33.   4001.2100  Natural rubber in other forms - smoked sheets.          10 percent  34.   4001.2200  Technically specified natural rubber.                   10 percent  35.   4001.2900  Natural rubber in other forms.                          10 percent  36.   4010.1100  Reinforced only with metal.                             10 percent  37.   4010.1200  Reinforced only with textile material.                  10 percent  38.   4010.1300  Reinforced only with plastic.                           10 percent  39.   4010.1900  Other.                                                  10 percent  40.   4017.0000  Plates, sheets, rods and tubes etc  of                  10 percent                   ebonite and vulcanite.  41.   4206.1000  Catguts.                                                10 percent  42.   4418.2000  Doors and their frames and thresholds.                  10 percent  43.   4904.0000  Music, printed or in manuscript whether or not bound                   and illustrated.                                        10 percent  44.   6802.2100  Marble blocks/tiles, polished.                          10 percent  45.   6802.2300  Granite blocks/tiles, polished.                         10 percent  46.   6804.1000  Millstones and grindstones for milling, grinding        10 percent                   or pulping  47.   6805.1000  Natural or artificial abrasive powder or grain.                   On base of woven textile fabrics only.                  10 percent  48.   6805.2000  Natural or artificial abrasive powder or grain.                   On base paper or paper board only.                      10 percent  49.   6814.1000  Plates, sheets and strips of agglomerated               10 percent                   or reconstituted mica.  50.   6815.1000  Non-electrical item of graphite or other carbon.        10 percent  51.   6815.9900  Alumina balls.                                          10 percent  52.   6909.1100  Ceramic wares for laboratory chemical or other technical                   use of porcelain or china.                              10 percent  53.   7005.1000  Non-wired glass, having any absorbent relecting or                   non-reflecting of float glass.                          10 percent  54.   7007.1100  Toughened tempered safety glass.                        10 percent  55.   7103.1000  Unworked or simply sawn or roughly.                     20 percent  56.   7103.9100  Rubles, sapphires and emeralds.                         20 percent  57.   7103.9900  Other.                                                  20 percent  58.   7203.1000  Ferrous products.                                       10 percent  59.   7506.1000  Of nickel, not alloyed.                                 10 percent  60.   7506.2000  Of nickel alloys.                                       10 percent  61.   7904.0000  Zinc bars rods profiles and wires.                      10 percent  62.   7905.0000  Zinc plates, sheets, strip and foil.                    10 percent  63.   8405.1000  Producer gas and water gas generators.                  10 percent  64.   8446.1000  Needle looms and spares thereof.                        20 percent  65.   8447.1200  Circular knitting machine and spares thereof.           20 percent  66.   8448.1100  Dobby, jacquard and punching machines and               20 percent                   spares thereof.  67.   8545.1900  Graphite electrodes.                                    10 percent  68.   9101.1200  Wrist watches, electrically operated, with              20 percent                   opto-electronic display.  69.   9101.1900  Other - Other wrist watches, electrically operated whether                   or not incorporating a stopwatch facility.              20 percent  70.   9101.2900  Other wrist watches.                                    20 percent  71.   9101.9100  Other wrist watches electrically operated.              20 percent  72.   9101.9900  Other wrist watches.                                    20 percent  73.   9103.1000  Clocks with watch movement electrically operated.       20 percent  74.   9103.9000  Other clocks with watch movement.                       20 percent  75.   9105.2900  Other wall clocks.                                      20 percent  76.   9105.9100  other clocks electrically operated.                     20 percent  77.   9105.9900  Other clocks.                                           20 percent  78.   9506.6100  Tennis balls.                                           10 percent  ===================================================================================

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