Pakistan has still not granted ‘most favoured nation’ status to India: Nirmala Sitharaman

New Delhi: Pakistan has not yet granted the most favoured nation (MFN) status to India, Parliament was informed on Wednesday.

“No,” Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha on whether Pakistan has granted India the MFN status. During the seventh round of talks on trade and economic cooperation between commerce secretaries of India and Pakistan in Islamabad in September 2012, it was agreed that Pakistan would transition fully to MFN (non-discriminatory) status for India by December 2012, she said.
“Pakistan, however, did not adhere to the timelines,” she added.

She also said Pakistan has not been able to honour its commitments of removing trade restrictions on the land route and granting MFN status to India. During the meeting between Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan in May last year, it was decided that the two countries could move immediately towards full trade normalisation.

Grant of the MFN status to India would help in boosting trade between the two countries. India granted the MFN status to Pakistan way back in 1996. During April-October this year, the bilateral trade between the countries stood at USD 1.14 billion. For 2014-15, it came in at 2.35 billion. India’s main exports to Pakistan include sugar, man-made filaments and chemicals while imports comprise mineral fuels.