Pakistan has list of 938 items under SAFTA with Afghanistan: NA told

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 11 (APP): Minister for Commerce Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan said Thursday that Pakistan and Afghanistan were members of South Asia Free Trade Agreement(SAFTA) and the former was maintaining a sensitive list of 938 items under this arrangement.

Speaking during question-hour in the National Assembly the minister said except for the items on the sensitive list, all other items were importable into Pakistan from SAFTA countries including Afghanistan at tariff rate of 0-5 percent.

He said there were 16 items on which tariff rate was zero on MFN basis, in other words, they were imported without any import duties.

The minister said under SAFTA, Afghanistan was also maintaining a sensitive list of 850 items and on all other tariff lines, the tariff was between 0-5 percent.

Replying to another question, the minister said as a matter of policy, Pakistan had granted Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to all countries except Israel and India.

Hence, he added it was difficult to compare the trends in trade as Pakistan had given market access to all countries without any discrimination, adding MFN principle as envisaged under the WTO was applied by Pakistan for trade with all the countries.

He said the federal government did not import Whey Powder & Meat and has no plans to do so, adding Whey powder was not manufactured in Pakistan and was used in confectionary items.

He said a total of 20, 252 MT of whey powder was imported in year 2015-16 (July-April) from France, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine and 264 MT of meat was imported in Pakistan during 2015-16 (July-April) from Malaysia, India, UAE and Saudi Arabia.