Pakistan resumes import of cotton sugar imports from India, tensions ease

New Delhi: The Imran Khan government of Pakistan lifts an early-two-year ban on cotton, yarn and sugar imports from India. According to media reports Pakistan’s Economic Coordination Council, a top decision-making body, allowed country’s private sector to import 0.5 million ton sugar from India.

Pakistani buyers have already started making inquiries about buying Indian sugar and cotton, which is being offered at lower prices than supplies from other countries, after the PECC’s decision of resuming trade between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.

India is the world’s biggest producer of cotton and the second biggest sugar producer. Exports to its neighbour will reduce surpluses that are weighing on its local markets, while helping Pakistan to lower soaring sugar prices ahead of Ramadan.

“Pakistani traders have been buying Indian sugar through their offices in Dubai for Afghanistan. If Pakistan allows imports from India, they will unload shipments in Pakistan,” A pakistani dealer said to media.

Pakistan’s decision to suspend bilateral trade with India in August 2019 was primarily a fallout of India’s decision to scrap Article 370 — the constitutional provision that recognised the special status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and afforded it a certain amount of autonomy.

Pakistan called the move “illegal”, and took this trade measure as a way of showing its dissatisfaction.

However, an underlying reason for suspending trade between the two countries was also the 200 per cent tariff imposed by New Delhi on Pakistani imports — a move that India implemented earlier that year after revoking its status as a Most Favoured Nation following the suicide bomb attack on the CRPF in Pulwama.

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