India withdraws the ‘Most Favoured Nation’ (MFN) status granted to Pakistan in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, India on Saturday hiked the basic customs duty on all goods imported from the neighbouring country to 200%.
The government also announced its plans to initiate diplomatic steps to ensure the complete isolation of Pakistan in the international community. This decision to withdraw the status was taken soon after Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) suicide bomber attack at Pulwama, killed 44 CRPF jawans.
“India has withdrawn MFN status to Pakistan after the Pulwama incident. Upon withdrawal, basic customs duty on all goods exported from Pakistan to India has been raised to 200% with immediate effect,” Union Minister Arun Jaitley tweeted on Saturday evening.
Union government says that withdrawing the status will hurt Pakistan at a time when it is struggling financially, the move is mostly symbolic because bilateral trade between the two countries comes up to barely $2 billion a year. India mainly exports cotton, dyes, chemicals, vegetables and iron and steel to Pakistan while importing fruits, cement, leather, chemicals and spices.
The MFN status is given to a trade partner to ensure non-discriminatory trade between two countries. Although India had granted the status to Pakistan in 1996, Islamabad did not reciprocate despite it being required to do so as a member of the World Trade Organisation.