With the Pakistan Cabinet deferring the decision to announce the ‘shorterned negative list', India and Pakistan will hold talks on Wednesday to open another border trading point at Mona Bao-Khorapar in Rajasthan, which opens up into Sindh province in Pakistan.
India also indicated that it was ready to put in place a liberal multiple visa regime in place if Pakistan reciprocated on the issue. The issue strengthening of infrastructure at the Wagah-attari border along with opening another trading point at the Rajasthan border will also come up for discussion during the bilateral talks to be held on Wednesday between the visiting Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and the Pakistan's Trade Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim.
India and Pakistan are holding talks not only to opening up another border trading point at the Wagah Border but also at Mona Bao in Rajasthan.
He said these negotiations were being held between both countries regarding reopening of banking channels on both sides of the border. He said State Bank of Pakistan and the Reserve Bank of India were in touch in this regard and the RBI was already looking into the issue
“We are ready to put in place a multiple liberal visa regime for businessmen from across the border if Pakistan reciprocates in the same manner,'' he told a gathering of Indian and Pakistan CEOs here. The event was organised by the Ministry of Commerce and Trade, Pakistan, the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and FICCI.
Undeterred by the Pakistan's decision to defer the issue of pruning the negative list for trade with India, Mr. Sharma said he would be discussing the issue of grant of the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India as well the issue of pruning the negative list to give a fillip to trade. “We have taken note of the concerns expressed by the businessmen from Pakistan and would work to remove non-traiff barriers at the earliest. We are eagerly waiting for a liberal trading regime to be in place,'' he remarked.
However, the decision of the Pakistan Cabinet not to come out with a pruned negative list has not gone down well with India Inc.
Rajan Bharti Mittal of Bharati Enterprises said he was disappointed with the development but hoped that things would look up in the future. Mr. Mittal said India and Pakistan needed to introduce a more liberal visa regime so that businessmen could move around more freely around the country.
Mr. Mittal also felt that a roaming facility for mobile calls should be allowed between India and Pakistan to promote greater communication between the people.
Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry President R. V. Kanoria said India would have to be more accommodating with Pakistan in importing goods such as cement since the country has a huge trade deficit with India.
Keywords: Indo-Pak trade ties