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Pakistan allows partial trade via Attari ICP

Date: 23-08-2019
Subject: Pakistan allows partial trade via Attari ICP
AMRITSAR: Under pressure from its business community, the Pakistan government has allowed partial import of goods from India. But at the same time, the neighbouring country has launched a campaign to prevent Indian goods from reaching its markets via third country. 

Highly-placed sources said the Pakistan’s ministry of commerce and textile had issued a notification saying that shipments, which had been issued letter of credit (LC) or bill of landing (BL) prior to August 9, could be traded and would remain unaffected by announcement of border trade suspension following the scraping of special status for Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) under Article 370

Sources said the notification of Pakistan ministry mentioned that importers and exporters had been approaching the ministry regarding scope of trade and fate of shipments in the pipeline. 

Following the decision, a truck load of goods had left for Pakistan through the Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Attari on Tuesday, but was returned owing to some technical issue. 

Notably, a day after Lok Sabha had okayed the scrapping of special status given to J&K, Pakistan had retaliated with suspension of bilateral trade, downgrading of diplomatic relations and other measures, including expelling Indian high commissioner and calling back Pakistani envoy. 

Sources said in view of the high demand of Indian goods, the Pakistan government had showed concern that suspension of bilateral trade with India could result in increase in import of Indian goods by misdeclaration via third countries or smuggling under the Afghan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA). 

In the notification, the Pakistan’s commerce and textile ministry has urged the Pakistan’s Federal Board of Revenue to take necessary enforcement measures to prevent misdeclaration and smuggling of Indian goods into the country. It has also asked the board to initiate a campaign to confiscate Indian goods that may be available and traded in Pakistani markets. 

However, India-Afghanistan trade being carried under APTTA has remained unaffected as goods from Afghanistan continued to arrive at the ICP, Attari. 

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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