A top Pakistani Parliamentary panel has expressed reservations about the Government’s move to grant the Most Favoured Nation status to India, with some of its members claiming that the measure would “destroy” the domestic agriculture sector.

Members of the Public Accounts Committee, which is headed by the ruling PPP lawmaker Nadeem Afzal Chan, voiced their reservations during a meeting and sought a detailed briefing on the matter from the Commerce Ministry after the ‘Muharram’ holidays.

The PPP-led government has repeatedly said it is committed to phasing out a negative list regime for trade with India by December 31 and granting it MFN status by early next year.

However, at a meeting last Friday, members of the Public Accounts Committee expressed concern over the move to do away with the negative list regime. Committee member Noor Alam Khan of the PPP said India gave subsidies to its farmers while Pakistan’s agricultural industry was on the “brink of disaster“. He claimed MFN status is being given to India due to “foreign pressure.”

The two countries have taken several steps in recent months, including the signing of three agreements, to boost bilateral trade to $6 billion by 2014.

(This article was published on November 18, 2012)
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