In the aftermath of India withdrawing Pakistan’s Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status, businesses across Attari border have come to a halt.
The traders told ANI that the Indian importers and manufacturers have cancelled all the orders to neibhouring Pakistan and are also demanding the return of advance payments.
“After February 14, all the trading with Pakistan was stopped. At present, 200-250 trucks without goods are parked near the border after the government imposed 200 per cent Regulatory Duty (RD) on non-essential Indian imports,” said Sukhbir Singh, a trader from Amritsar.
“This move of the government of introducing higher Regulatory Duty is making difficult for traders to pay their monthly instalments of tire and trucks. The Centre must re-think on its decision. This move has also affected the food outlets situated near the border areas,” said Sharan Singh, a trader from Amritsar said.
The MFN status to Pakistan was given by India in 1996. Most Favoured Nation status is given to an international trade partner to ensure non-discriminatory trade between all partner countries of the WTO.
A country which provides MFN status to another country has to provide concessions, privileges, and immunity in trade agreements. It is the first clause in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).
On the other hand, another trader Rajdeep Upel, was of the view that the trading activity with Pakistan should not only be closed from Punjab orders but also from the state of Jammu and Kashmir. “All trade organisations support the government’s decision. We are surprised to know that land trade routes in Kashmir are still open, making the ban ineffective.”