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MFN status to Pakistan withdrawn; import ban, port curbs on the cards

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 15, 2019 Published on February 15, 2019

Arun Jaitle, Finance Minister. Photo: PTI   -  PTi

All parties pledge support to Centre in the aftermath of Pulwama attacks

India today withdrew the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status it had accorded Pakistan in trade in a move to “isolate’’ the country following Thursday’s terrorist attack in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir that killed about 40 CRPF officers.

“The government will now identify items imported from Pakistan on which duties can be raised since it is no longer bound by the MFN rules. Other measures such as import ban and port restrictions will also be considered. This exercise will be carried out at the highest level,” a government official told BusinessLine.

Opposition parties, including the Congress, pledged support to the efforts of the Centre in dealing with the situation after the Pulwama attack, although Congress President Rahul Gandhi refused to comment specifically on the MFN withdrawal.

New Delhi had granted Islamabad the MFN status way back in 1996 to abide by World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, which lay down that each member shall apply uniform import tariff on all members and no country will be discriminated against. Pakistan is yet to extend the same status to India, but over the last decade, it has removed import restrictions on a majority of Indian products.

“The Ministry of External Affairs will launch an all-out effort to ensure the complete isolation of Pakistan for having a direct hand in this gruesome terrorist attack,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, addressing the media following a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security on Friday.

Published on February 15, 2019
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