ISLAMABAD: India has started to spoil chances of the expected Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) facility for Pakistan with its diplomats in Europe actively lobbying the member countries of European Union against Pakistan. A voting is expected on the issue by December 16.
A letter to the Pakistani authorities from Pakistan’s High Commissioner in New Delhi Salman Bashir reads that India is not happy with Pakistan for not endorsing India’s point of view in the WTO conference in Bali. Developed countries and members of WTO want that there should be a cap of 10 percent on subsidy on agriculture products, but India is opposing it and wanted Pakistan to side with New Delhi on the issue but Pakistan did not subscribe to this viewpoint of India. Now India is reportedly involved in lobbying in EU countries against the expected GSP-plus facility apparently to punish Pakistan.
Ambassador Bashir has suggested the authorities in Pakistan to accelerate their diplomatic efforts in Brussels and Geneva to thwart the Indian designs by getting the majority votes of EU member countries in favour of Pakistan.
Sources in the commerce ministry said that France is also said to have developed nexus with India and decided to play an important role in EU Parliament against the move for GSP-plus facility for Pakistan.
Pakistan textile exports to EU stand at $5 billion. Pakistan is strong in the area of bed linen and home textiles. Under GSP-plus facility, 90 percent of Pakistani products are covered under 14 percent of the tariff lines. So the annual impact of GSP-plus on Pakistan’s exports will hover around $220 to $300 million.