Pakistan to import sugar and cotton from India, the country’s Finance Minister Hammad Azhar said on Wednesday, lifting a 19-month-old ban. The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) today allowed the private sector to import five lakh tonnes of white sugar from India, Azhar said.
“In India, the price of sugar is quite cheap,” he said. “Hence, we have decided to resume sugar trade with India,” he was quoted as saying by Geo TV. He also said that Pakistan will import cotton from India starting June this year. “The import of cotton from India was banned and this had a direct effect on our SMEs,” he said. “However, at the recommendation of the Ministry of Commerce, we have also decided to resume the trade of cotton with India,” he added. The resumption of import of these goods will lead to partial revival of bilateral trade relations, the Dawn newspaper said.
India is the world’s biggest producer of cotton and the second bigger sugar producer. Until 2019, Pakistan was one of the leading buyers of Indian cotton. However, later Islamabad banned imports of goods from India after New Delhi revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
This comes a day after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanking him for conveying greetings on Pakistan Day. Khan talked about Jammu and Kashmir, and peace between India and Pakistan. He said the people of Pakistan also desire peaceful, cooperative relations with all neighbours including India. “We are convinced that durable peace and stability in South Asia is contingent upon resolving all outstanding issues between India and Pakistan, in particular the Jammu and Kashmir dispute,” he said.