After Pulwama Terror Attack, Customs Duty On Goods From Pakistan Raised To 200%

After Pulwama Terror Attack, Customs Duty On Goods From Pakistan Raised To 200%

After Pulwama Terror Attack, Customs Duty On Goods From Pakistan Raised To 200%(representational image) 

New Delhi: After the heinous terror activity, that claimed the life of aroud 40 CRPF Jawans, in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama, India withdrew the 'Most Favoured Nation' (MFN) status granted to Pakistan and today, hiked the basic customs duty on all goods imported from the neighbouring country to 200%.

The decision comes after a convoy of CRPF vehicles was targeted by a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) suicide bomber on the Jammu-Srinagar highway on Thursday, resulting in over 40 deaths. The government also announced its plans to initiate diplomatic steps to ensure the complete isolation of Pakistan in the international community.

"India has withdrawn MFN status to Pakistan after the Pulwama incident.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. 

The status of Most Favoured Nation is given to a trade partner to ensure non-discriminatory trade between two countries. In 1996, Indiahad granted the status to Pakistan, however, the neighbours did not reciprocate despite it being required to do so as a member of the World Trade Organisation. 

Although the 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.

Meanwhile, global pressure is building on Pakistan to act against perpetrators of the attack. Despite Chinese reservations, New Delhi has urged the international community to back the naming of JeM leader Masood Azhar as a "UN designated terrorist". The United States has also asked Pakistan to "immediately end support and safe haven to all terrorist groups".

Pakistan is already in the 'grey list' of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental body that works to stop terror financing, among other things. India, however, wants it to be competely blacklisted.

The FATF blacklist is meant for countries that are deemed "non-cooperative" in the global fight against money laundering and terror financing. If the FATF blacklists Pakistan, it may lead to downgrading of the country by lenders like International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and the European Union.

(With inputs from ANI)