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    India offers to help Auto Industry

    http://www.dawn.com/2001/09/01/ebr5.htm
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    KARACHI, Aug 31: Leader of the 15-member Confederation of Indian Industries delegation, Jagdish Khattar has offered help to Pakistan's car industry in cost reduction without hurting the interest of respective industry.

    "If your government allows, we can export parts and components to the auto sector which are not manufactured locally," he told newsmen at a dinner reception of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Friday.

    He said the auto industry has achieved over 90 per cent deletion despite the fact that the excise duty is still 32 per cent and 12 per cent sales tax.

    Jagdish, who is also the managing director of Maruti Udyog Ltd, said that a time of globalization, it is the right time to buy the components from the neighbour instead of importing these parts from other country.

    As a result of liberalization, the price of Maruti 800cc has come down to Rs 125,000 as compared to Rs 132,000 in 1995. The auto industry is operating without any subsidy. He said in other sectors too, subsidy is being phased out.

    Imports are being liberalized and by 2003, the customs duty in India will be 20 per cent and excise duty will reach to 15 per cent.

    Earlier, in his address, the delegation leader also called for closer trade ties between India and Pakistan in order to face the challenges of globalization. "We should pursue our governments to take effective measures in the wake of globalization otherwise industries of both the countries particularly in Pakistan will be affected," he said.

    "India has already done much of its homework in the wake of liberalization," he referred to the example of automobile industry.

    Elaborating further on globalization process, Jagdish referred to the free trade agreements signed with Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan as an elementary preparation to speed up trade relations. "If we have a free trade agreement with these neighbours, then why not we can enter into similar agreement with Pakistan. Both the countries should now consider this ample option," he said.

    "Pakistan government should now consider granting most favoured nation (MFN) status to India as our country has already granted to Pakistan," Jagdish said. He said there is a need to identify products which can be helpful in materializing into a successful joint venture. "We should prepare negative list to protect our local industries from negative impact and exchange those items which can be mutually beneficial for each other," he said.

    He said that despite frequent efforts of both the governments, no progress has been achieved in increasing volume of trade. "I know that there are many issues that still need to be addressed and resolved," he added.

    He expressed the hope that some positive results would arrive as dialogue between the two countries have started. It would help building up confidence of businessmen of both the countries.

    "There is a need for a regular dialogue between businessmen and exchange of trade delegations," he said.

    A leader of the Indian delegation, beautician Mrs Shahnaz Hussain urged the KCCI president to motivate his government to allow import of herbal products from India.

    President, SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Kasim Ibrahim said there is a need to remove trade barriers between the SAARC members so as to help each other in tackling the situation arising out of globalization.

    President, KCCI, Zubair Motiwalla, in his address, said that India has allowed MFN status to Pakistan, allowing import of 600 items from his country but it is not reflected in the existing trade volume, ranging between $150-200 million.

    He said Pakistan has the potential to export many items like leather, sports goods, surgical, metal products, precious stones, plastic products, paper and vegetables.
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    This is good for both countries. Get closer ties and have a better car industry. Thumbs up to this article
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