PM Imran’s cabinet decides against importing sugar, cotton from India


ISLAMABAD – The federal cabinet on Thursday rejected an Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) proposal to import sugar and cotton from India, local media reported

The development comes a day after newly appointed Finance Minister Hammad Azhar said that the two commodities will be imported from the neighbouring country to bring stability in the local market.

The matter was discussed in the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan. The cabinet is over the view that on any trade ties could be restored with India until the status of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir is not restored to pre-August 5, 2019 level.

Earlier today, Minister of Human Rights Shireen Mazar took to Twitter for clarification. She tweeted, “Just for the record – All ECC decisions have to be approved by Cabinet & only then they can be seen as “approved by govt”! So today in Cabinet there will be discussion on ECC decisions incl trade with India & then govt decision will be taken! Media shd be aware of this atleast!”

On Wednesday, Hammad Azhar has announced to restore import of sugar and cotton from neighbouring India, besides announcing decrease in petroleum prices to provide relief to public.

Addressing his maiden press conference as finance minister, he said that 0.5million tonnes of sugar will be imported from India.

“Sugar is cheaper in our neighbouring country India. Therefore we have decided to resume sugar trade with India,” Azhar said, besides vosing to take measures to control sugar prices in the country.

The finance minister said the demand for cotton was increasing in the Pakistan due to boost in production. He said Pakistan had green lighted the import of cotton from other countries last year after it could not produced quality cotton.

Saying a ban on Indian cotton had direct effect on country’s SMEs, Azhar said that the cotton trade with India will also be resumed in the light of recommendations made by the Ministry of Commerce.

On Wednesday, Economic Coordination Council allowed the private sector to import 0.5 million tonnes of white sugar from India.

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