MFN status to India unlikely before October

Islamabad: Pakistan on Thursday said it was unlikely that the process of granting India Most Favoured Nation-status to boost bilateral trade would be completed before October.

The Pakistan government is working on the process of moving from a positive list to a negative list for trade with India and the Commerce Ministry is consulting all stakeholders regarding the move, Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit told a weekly news briefing.

"As far as MFN is concerned, you all know that a decision has been taken in principle to move from the positive to a negative list in our trade with India," Basit said in response to a question.

"The work is in progress and the Ministry of Commerce is engaged in consultations with all stakeholders. A final decision in this regard will be taken by the Cabinet and I do not see that happening before October 2012," he said.

India and Pakistan agreed last year on a number of steps aimed at increasing bilateral trade from two billion dollars to six billion dollars in three years.