Pakistan’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has allowed the import of cotton and yarn from India.
The top decision making `body was meeting on Wednesday March 31 afternoon to discuss the possibility of restarting the import of cotton, cotton yarn, and white sugar following its nearly two year long ban on trade with India.
India Pakistan’s Trade Relations Before the Ban;
Trade between the subcontinental neighbours has always been linked to their political interactions, given their tumultuous relationship. This coincided with the rise in tensions between the two countries following the terrorist attacks in Uri in 2016, and the surgical strikes by India against Pakistan based militants. Trade between the two countries grew marginally in subsequent years despite continuing tensions.
Why did Pakistan Ban Trade with India?
Pakistan’s decision to suspend bilateral trade with India in August 2019 was primarily a fallout of India’s decision to scrap Article 370. 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% tariff imposed by New Delhi, 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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Why is Pakistan’s ECC meeting to discuss allowing cotton and sugar imports Now?
The proposal to lift the ban on cotton imports came in the backdrop of a shortfall in raw material for Pakistan’s textile, Which has reportedly been facing issues due to a low domestic yield of cotton in the country. On top of this, imports from other countries like the US and Brazil have reportedly been more expensive, and tale longer to arrive in the country.