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Pakistan mulling to slap 200% regulatory duty on Indian imports: Report

Earlier this week it was reported Pakistan’s cement exporters have been directed to recall their containers which were set for India, upon the request of Indian importers after their government imposed a 200% increase in duty on several products

ISLAMABAD: In a tit for rat response, Pakistan is considering imposing 200% regulatory duty (RD) on non-essential imports from India.

According to a report in local media, this move is being mulled in retaliation against Indian measures of slapping 200% duties on Saturday in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) last week.

Also, Pakistan will raise the issue of India unilaterally withdrawing the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status accorded to the country at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva, disclosed well-informed sources.

A meeting presided over by Secretary Commerce Younus Dagha at the Commerce Division finalized this proposal after a two-hour marathon session.

The session was called to determine the impact of Pakistan’s withdrawal from MFN status with special emphasis on exports and imports.

As per sources, the commerce division has prepared different options to be tabled before the National Security Council (NSC) which will meet within a few days, after which a final decision is expected.

Earlier this week it was reported Pakistan’s cement exporters have been directed to recall their containers which were set for India, upon the request of Indian importers after their government imposed a 200% increase in duty on several products following the Pulwama attack on Friday.

The exporter said Pakistan’s cement exports to India stood between $70-80 million.

As per the exporter, 75% of the country’s cement exports to India take place via the Wagah border, whilst the rest is done via sea route.

Pakistan’s cement exports during the first seven months (July-January) of the current financial year 2018-19 were recorded at 648,108 tons, whilst exports during FY18 touched 1.212 million tons.

On Saturday, the Indian government’s Ministry of Finance had notified levying of a 200% duty on imports from Pakistan.

It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan’s major exports to India included garments, cement, chemicals, minerals, fruits, oil and surgical products.

India exports fruits and vegetables, tires, cotton, plastic, machinery, shipping products, rubber, chemical and pharmaceutical to Pakistan. Both of the countries use the Line of Control (LOC), Wagah Border and Port Qasim for trade purposes.

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