CHANDIGARH: Withdrawal of Most Favoured Nation status to Pakistan by India today is completely understandable, considering the circumstances say the traders as they welcome this move by the central government.
India had given MFN status to Pak in 1996 but it was never reciprocated by them. The trade across Attari-Wagah land route has been to the tune of 2.4 billion USD per annum and has depleted considerably due to tensions primarily in Kashmir. In fact, the projected potential of this border outpost itself is over 70 billion dollars, it was always perceived that 10 Billion in trade was indeed low hanging fruit.
However, to the surprise of many, the barter trade across borders of Kashmir and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) has been substantive, to the detriment of actual fiscal trade between the countries.
"We obtusely welcome any move by union government removing of MFN status to Pakistan and also we will suggest that stop barter trade between both countries as NIA has already said that it is funding terror," says Rajdeep Uppal former Chairman of CII Punjab.
Gunbir Singh past Chairman CII Punjab says,"The lack of improvement in the situation even after the takeover of the new Imran Khan government in Pakistan, and the impending national elections in India, coupled with disruptive action in Kashmir, there seems little scope for improvement in trade and commerce presently between the two nations."
The dwindling relationship has also negatively impacted the socio-cultural exchanges healthcare tourism potential in the region.
But, RS Sachdeva Chairman of PHD Chamber of Commerce, Punjab says that trade should continue between both countries and it should not be stopped as other issues will take time to be resolved.
Meanwhile, Punjab Animal Husbandry and Labour Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu cancelled his scheduled visit to attend International Buffalo Congress at Lahore. Singh said that he was going to take part the International Buffalo Congress which has been organized by the University of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Lahore from Feburary18 to 20.