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ASEAN sensitive list to be pruned to 350 products

Apr '07
India industry should be prepared for FTAs with other countries and should focus on the preparedness and readiness to enter in to FTAs. This was stated by Mr P K Dash, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India at the India-Asean Round Table organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here.

It is impossible to guarantee that all the sectors in the economy stand to gain with FTAs in the short-run, and maximization of the overall national welfare from the FTAs should be the primary objective, he said.

Mr Dash said that the sensitive list of products which stand at 550 will have to be cut to about 350 and the sectors, which need to accommodate these cuts, are textiles, chemicals and auto. In the sensitive list the tariff lines were not be brought to zero duty. But the 200 items that will be moved out of the sensitive list will have to be brought down to zero by 2018. The 16 products in the agriculture list will, however, continue to be on the negative list.

The government fully considers the sensitivities of the domestic industry. Even there were difference between ASEAN and India over the Rules of Origin, India insisted for the standard criteria followed by India in FTAs.

Referring to the concerns of the textile sector, Mr Dash assured that the Product Specific Rules (PSR) have been agreed upon by both sides, to deal with the cheap imports from ASEAN countries, mainly Vietnam. Mr. Dash noted that ingarments sector India face competition from the immediate neighbourhood in

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