Pak-India working committee, formed to promote bilateral cooperation in the petroleum sector, has not made any substantial progress because of absence of private sector from the body, a trade official said.
The Indian petroleum sector has expressed keen interest in exporting petroleum products to Pakistan and has offered to lay a 180km pipeline at its expense, said India-Pakistan Chamber of Commerce’s executive committee member Khurram Saeed while speaking to the media at the Federation House on Thursday.
He said the participation of private sector in negotiations was necessary for promotion of trade in the petroleum sector and a formal proposal would be sent to the government.
He said NL Mittal Group of India was interested in exporting petroleum products to Pakistan through a 180km pipeline from Bhatinda to Wagah border. “The group is eager to make heavy investment.”
He said Pakistan could fulfill its needs of petroleum products economically and conveniently by importing from India and for that petrol and jet fuel should be added to the positive list prepared for trade with Delhi. Diesel is already included in the list.
Saeed said India produced 180 million tons of petroleum products compared to its consumption of 150 million tons and exported the surplus to the US and Iran. Pakistan can easily meet its deficit of 10 million tons from India, which will cost less in terms of freight. Muneer said official trade between Pakistan and India had dropped from $3.5 billion to $1.8 billion while indirect trade through Dubai and Singapore was double that figure.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 1st, 2011.
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