ISLAMABAD - Trade policy must be approved by the National Assembly Committee on Commerce rather than federal cabinet before its announcement. Chairman NA Standing Committee on Commerce Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan suggested this while talking to media persons after chairing the meeting of the body here on Thursday. He said the committee had taken serious note that the government was facilitating the imports and no measures had been proposed to promote the exports in new trade policy. Even no steps have been taken to seek access to international market for Pakistani products, he pointed out. He regretted that the government had made no initiatives to remove non-tariff bottlenecks imposed by India on Pakistani products. In the meeting, earlier, Federal Commerce Secretary Suleman Ghani said that government would announce new three-year trade policy on July 25. He informed the committee that Afghan transit trade agreement would be finalised in November instead of September this year due to presidential elections in Afghanistan. The chairman asked the stakeholders to share their views on the upcoming trade policy. The stakeholders also expressed their problems and grievances with the ministry of commerce for not considering their proposals seriously. They stressed the government to seek international market access for Pakistani products. The committee constituted a sub-committee to look into the affairs of Lahore School of Fashion Design. The committee showed its concern over the absence of federal minister of commerce and asked him to attend the meeting regularly. It also took strong notice of the absence of any legislator in the formulation of the trade policy and irregularities in the trading corporation of Pakistan. In its briefing on the trade policy 2009-10, the ministry of commerce discussed various issues including power outages and unpredictable raise in mark-up rates. Former president of Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chaudhry Saeed, said, In new trade policy, the government should promote domestic trade, as all other countries give importance to their domestic trade. He said that textile sector which was the major contributor to the overall exports of the country was neglected in the budget. He said if India was associated with the transit trade agreement, smuggling of Indian products to Pakistani markets would proliferate due to their low cost of production. Giving briefing to the committee, President All Pakistan Textile Mills Association Tariq Mehmood explained the problems faced by the textile sector during the last couple of years. MNAs Yasmin Rehman, Nawab Abdul Ghani Talpur, Shireen Arshad, Jamila Gilani and Kashmala Tariq, secretary and senior officials of the commerce ministry, representatives of Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, APTMA and FPCCI, and others attended the meeting.