New Delhi: India will bring down items in the negative list with regard to the least developed countries — Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives — in the SAARC region to around 500 from 744, as it aims to expand trade in goods in the region.
“India has unilaterally decided to reduce the negative list. We would be in a position to notify the revised negative list within the next few months,” Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath told reporters here on 3 March.
Speaking at the third meeting of the Safta ministerial council here, Nath said reviewing of the negative list and enlarging the scope for further trade cooperation were the key elements in enhancing trade within the SAARC region.
He said the other non least developed countries should also consider reviewing the negative list with respect to the LDCs.
India has already reduced imports duty to zero on all items other than those in the negative list for the LDCs with effect from 1 January this year.
He further said the regional study on trade in services has being completed giving the government an opportunity for an effective services agreements among SAARC countries.