India on Saturday raised customs duty on all imports from Pakistan to 200% after withdrawing the most favoured nation or MFN status over Pulwama attack in which at least 40 CRPF jawans were killed.
Union Minister Arun Jaitley made the announcement on Twitter. “India has withdrawn MFN status to Pakistan after the Pulwama incident.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,” he said.
India had on Friday stripped Pakistan of MFN status, which offered the country certain trade privileges.
India has also launched a coordinated move to mount global pressure on Islamabad to crack down on terrorists operating from its soil, with Arun Jaitley saying the government will take all steps to ensure the “complete isolation” of Pakistan.
On Thursday, a suicide bomber rammed a car laden with explosives into a CRPF truck, part of a convoy of 78 vehicles, in the Avantipora area of Pulwama district. Initial reports said 44 men were feared to have been killed. On Thursday, the CRPF confirmed 40 deaths, making it the deadliest attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s three-decade-long insurgency.
Saturday’s decision is expected to impact Pakistan’s exports to India. In 2017-18, India imported goods worth Rs 3,482.3 crore from Pakistan, according to news agency PTI.
The two main items imported from Pakistan are fruits and cement, on which the current customs duty is 30-50 per cent and 7.5 per cent, respectively.
Slapping an import duty of 200 per cent effectively means almost banning the imports from Pakistan, official sources said.
India on Friday revoked the MFN status to Pakistan in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack. The country invoked a security exception clause of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to withdraw this status. Both the countries are member of this organisation.
India can also restrict trade of certain goods and impose port-related restrictions on Pakistani goods.