Meeting to review MFN status to Pak postponed


New Delhi: In fast-paced developments on Thursday morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security over ceasefire violations by Pakistan, putting off a planned meeting on reviewing Pakistan's "Most Favoured Nation" status after the Uri terror attack in which 18 soldiers were killed.

“The meeting regarding MFN [status] and related logistics scheduled for today is postponed to next week,” official sources here said. The decision to review the MFN status, which was granted by India unilaterally in 1996, was taken in the wake of the Uri attack, over which India is weighing options to respond.

The MFN status was accorded under the WTO’s General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Both India and Pakistan are signatories to this, which means they have to treat each other and rest of WTO member countries as favoured trading partners.

According to the Associated Chambers of Commerce of India (Assocham), out of India’s total merchandise trade of $641 billion in 2015-16, Pakistan accounted for only a meagre $2.67 billion.

India’s exports to the neighbouring country worked out to $2.17 billion, or 0.83 per cent, of the total Indian outward shipments while imports were less than $500 million, or 0.13 per cent, of the total inward shipments.