No harm in increasing trade with India

Saturday, March 22, 2014


LAHORE- Jang: There is no harm to increase trade with India but all the stakeholders of the private sectors should be taken into confidence before taking any decision while trade with India through third routes should be discouraged. These views were expressed by speakers at the Jang Economic Session on ‘Increase in Pakistan-India Trade-Chances and Concerns’ on Thursday.

Iftikhar Ali Malik said the importance of regional blocks could not be ignored for economic development and there was no harm to increase trade between Pakistan and India. He said the increase in trade would provide marker access to Pakistan in India and India would reach Central Asian States. However, he said Pakistani businesses were unable to get market access to India due to NTBs and measures, so trust in India was inevitable. He said all the trade routes should be opened for trade with India. He believed that growth in bilateral trade was only possible when the trust deficit between the two countries reduced.

Tanzeem Hussain Naqvi said that tariff should be fixed before importing electricity from India and then moved forward in order to abridge the shortage of it in coming summer. He believed that electricity shortfall would not end with the import of 1000 mega watt from India. He forecasted that troubles for energy sector would increase after the import of electricity from India.

Javeed Kiyani said the sugar industry had many apprehensions on trade with India, as it was not taken on board. He said that non-existence of discriminatory and unfair behaviours should be the condition for bilateral trade with India. He said farmers’ apprehensions should be addressed first, as economic growth was impossible with personal interest decisions. He went on saying that Pakistan had been passing through a critical economic situation and in this condition army and people should be taken into confidence before making decision.

Tariq Bucha said agriculture sector was not against the trade with India but supported economic growth of Pakistan but did not trust in government’s ongoing talks on bilateral trade. He said agriculture sector wanted the government to address its apprehensions so that farmers could also prosper. He believed that separate trade agreement was required for trade. He said trade with India should be discouraged until agreement would be made on agriculture sector.

Saad Akbar Khan said the agro-chemical industry had no threat from Indian products under bilateral trade rather it would give a new market to Pakistani industry. However, he demanded subsidy for agro-chemical industry. He said negotiation process in Pakistan was very weak.

Tehmena Ijaz said the bilateral trade with India should be promoted only on positive impacts and gains. He said trade relations should not be increased on friendly ties. She said economic condition of Pakistan was not good and potential existed in technology and agriculture sector. The panelists were Iftikhar Ali Malik, Tanzeem Hussain Naqvi, Javeed Kiyani, Tariq Bucha, Saad Akbar Khan and Tehmena Ijaz while the session was hosted by Sikandar Hameed Lodhi.

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