The import of all items through the Wagah land border crossing will be possible "very soon" as the Pakistan government has given an assurance in this regard, Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal has said.
Currently, only 138 items can be imported through Wagha-Attari but this restriction will go very soon, Sabharwal said while addressing the Lahore Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Thursday.
Once the restriction is lifted, India will cut down its SAFTA sensitive list by 30 per cent and this list will be further curtailed to only 100 tariff lines by April 2013 while the peak tariff will not be more than five per cent, he said.
Pakistan will take similar steps over five years while availing the advantage of the concept of bigger and smaller economies, he said.
Sabharwal further said Pakistan can import petroleum products and LNG through a short pipeline (of 70 km) from India.
Referring to Pakistan’s concerns about non-tariff barriers, he said India had been focussing on customs facilitation, laboratories for sampling certification and redressing grievances of the Pakistani business community.
Intra-region trade is very low when compared to the ASEAN and EU regions, Sabharwal said.
"We are doing less than five per cent trade in this region while ASEAN is doing 25% and EU is at 65%," he said.