No decision yet on revoking MFN status to Pakistan: Modi govt

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Government is yet to take a decision on revoking the most favoured nation (MFN) status accorded to Pakistan, Parliament was informed today.

Asked whether the government has any proposal to revoke MFN status to Pakistan, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said: “No such decisions have been taken so far.”

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In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, she said that Pakistan is yet to transition fully to MFN status for India.

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Replying to another query on whether trade between India and Pakistan has been affected due to recent tensions between the two countries, Sitharaman said: “While there has been marginal decline in value of bilateral trade between the two countries from USD 1,208.75 million in the period April to October 2015 to USD 1,167.91 million in the period April to October 2016, the change in value of exports of individual commodities shows a mixed trend.”

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On whether the government proposes to make some changes in trade relations with Pakistan, she said: “No decision has been taken, so far, in context of various factors including composition of bilateral trade.”

Asked if a panel has been formed to discuss trade-related issues between the two countries, the minister said: “No such committee has been constituted so far.”

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The MFN status was accorded in 1996 under World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Both India and Pakistan are signatories to this, which means they have to treat each other and rest of WTO member countries as favoured trading partners.

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