Indian move against EU decision for declaring Pakistani products under GSP to be blocked

ISLAMABAD (April 22 2003) : Commerce Minister Humayun Akhtar said on Monday that Pakistan would block Indian move in World Trade Organisation (WTO) where New Delhi has challenged European Union (EU) decision for declaring several thousands Pakistani products under the Generalised Systems Preferences (GSP).

“Our mission in WTO will fight the case on the grounds that the issue is 11-12 years old. Why India did not make hue and cry when the negotiations were underway?” he said while talking to a group of journalists.

He said that export-led package would be announced soon, following approval by the Cabinet.

He said that Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali would visit Commerce Ministry on May 2 to observe the working of Commerce Ministry and its attached organisations.

He said that import duty on machinery would be brought down from five percent to zero to encourage industrialisation, adding that when he was Chairman, Board of Investment (BoI), he had reduced import duty on machinery to zero.

Asked when the cabinet committee on fertiliser has recommended that urea export should be banned to normalise the prices in the local market, why Commerce Ministry had floated tender for export of urea, he replied that the decision was taken on the information of Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (Minfal).

He said that the recommendations of cabinet committee have not yet been approved by the cabinet, which means that “we can export surplus urea, prior to any decision by the Cabinet”.

Humayun said, he would be visiting China very soon where he would discuss trade-related issues including revival of agreements which lapsed some time back.

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