Islamabad: In a major development, Pakistan’s Economic Coordination Council, a top decision-making body, on Wednesday allowed the import of cotton and yarn from India, news agency Reuters reported. The development comes as a step towards reviving the suspended bilateral trade between the two nuclear-armed neighbours. Also Read - PSL 2021 Schedule: Despite COVID-19 Surge, Pakistan Super League to Resume From June 1
As India is the world’s biggest producer of cotton and the second biggest sugar producer, the export of cotton and yarn to its neighbour will reduce surpluses that are weighing on its local markets. It will also help Pakistan lower soaring sugar prices ahead of Ramadan. Also Read - 4-Day Tika Utsav Begins Today, Special Drive to Vaccinate Maximum Eligible People | All You Need to Know
Earlier it was reported that the Imran Khan-led Pakistan government may lift the ban on the import of sugar and cotton from India. The Pakistan Ministry of Commerce had released a note before the cabinet for import approval from India. “There are 21 items on the agenda of the ECC meeting to be chaired by the newly appointed Finance Minister Hammad Azhar, Pakistani news daily The Dawn reported. Pakistan’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet will meet on Wednesday, March 31, to consider reopening Indo-Pak trade. Also Read - Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju Inaugurates Rowing Centre in Srinagar
The proposal to allow cotton and sugar imports from India was today presented before the ECC for approval at the meeting convened by the country’s Ministry of Commerce. And then, the ECC took up the matter to lift the ban on import of cotton, cotton yarn, and white sugar from India.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is in-charge of the Commerce and Textile Ministry, has already approved the summary to be placed before the ECC.
Pakistan’s decision to consider lifting the ban from India come as a relief for the textile sector which seeks access to cheap raw materials.
The development comes after Pakistan suspended trade ties with India after New Delhi revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in 2019.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote a letter to PM Narendra Modi, saying creation of an “enabling environment” is imperative for a constructive and result-oriented dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues between Pakistan and India, in particular the Jammu and Kashmir issue.
Khan’s letter was in reply to Prime Minister Modi’s letter to him last week to extend greetings on the occasion of Pakistan Day. In his letter, PM Modi had said that India desires cordial relations with Pakistan but an atmosphere of trust, devoid of terror and hostility, is “imperative” for it.