Eighteen months after banning bilateral trade after heightened tension over Kashmir, Pakistan today decided to buy sugar and cotton from India, Pakistan’s newly-appointed Finance Minister Hammad Azhar announced today.
The decision was taken at a meeting of Pakistan’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) chaired by Azhar.
Azhar said the meeting discussed 21 items on the agenda, including import of cotton and sugar from India, which it allowed after detailed deliberations, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
He said the private sector was allowed to import five lakh tonnes of white sugar from India.
Azhar also said Pakistan would import cotton from India beginning in June this year.
He said Pakistan government had allowed to import sugar from other countries “but since the prices there is quite higher and since in our neighbouring country India, the price of sugar is quite cheap, we have decided to resume sugar trade with India.”
Pakistan suspended trade after the August 5, 2019 decision of India to scrap the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and split it into federally-ruled territories.
Azhar told the media that demand for cotton in Pakistan was going up but it had not produced quality cotton last year, and hence gave the permission for import of the product from other countries.
“The import of cotton from India was banned and this had a direct effect on our SMEs,” he said.