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Free trade list needs relook: Kamal Nath

December 12, 2005 09:06 IST

A goof up at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has resulted in the scrapping of the early harvest programme.

India gave the trade ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Trade Nations a list of 1,414 items it wanted excluded (like toilet seats, dolls, vegetable oils, chewing gum and petroleum products) from tariff cuts due to be put under the free trade deal.

Both Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath and his Malaysian counterpart Rafidah Aziz agreed that the list needs a 're-look'.

Nath said that he will review the list, which he said needed 'substantial pruning'. He, how ever, said that the free trade agreement will come into effect on January 1, 2007 and probably cover more than 1000 products.

The list included 44 per cent of ASEAN's exports to India valued at $4.76 billion.

The list apparently compiled by officials of the commerce ministry, something that Nath was not aware of, excluded 60.6 per cent of Malaysian exports to India.

Complete Coverage: PM in Malaysia


rediff Business Desk