ISLAMABAD - The propagators of trade with India are missing some very important facts which clearly show that this trade is to give a big damage to the economy, agriculture sector and many industries of Pakistan, Khalid Khokhar President Pakistan Kissan Ittehad said in a statement on Sunday.

Khokhar said that India granted Pakistan Most Favored Nation (MFN) status in 1996, yet Pakistan only has roughly 15pc share of Indo-Pak bilateral trade, even though Pakistan has not granted India MFN. When Pakistan grants India MFN status, the trade balance will favor India even more and it has been the experience of India’s other neighbours in SAFTA, such as Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. ‘The vast majority of Indian exports into Pakistan today are agricultural products, whereas Pakistan mainly is able to exports cement and gypsum, only a bit of citrus. India has maintained a favourable trade balance with Pakistan despite having granted MFN to Pakistan because India heavily protects its agriculture, both through high tariff barriers, particularly in agriculture, and through a complex scheme of non-tariff barriers,’ he added.

He said that in 2010 India applied MFN tariff rate (trade weighted average) as for goods 5 percent and for agriculture goods 44.7 percent. In contrast, Pakistan’s applied MFN tariff rate in 2010 was 10.3 percent for goods and 9.2 percent for agriculture goods. It is to be noted that India maintains a diverse array of NTBS to further protect goods.