New Delhi: The commerce ministry has sent the final draft of the revised Indo-Nepal trade treaty to the Prime Minister’s office (PMO) which will take a final call on the agreement to expand bilateral economic ties.
“The commerce ministry has done its job. The call has to be taken by the PMO in consultation with the ministry of external affairs,” an official said.
He said that it is not yet clear whether the new treaty on trade and the agreement on cooperation to control unauthorised trade can be signed during Nepalese Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal’s visit ending tomorrow.
While the details of the draft treaty could not be obtained, it is learnt that the number of land routes for bilateral trade has been increased from 22 to 26.
“Besides, a system of duty refund has been done away with,” the official said.
The 1991 Indo-Nepal treaties on trade, transit, and agreement for cooperation to control unauthorised trade provide an institutional framework for India to have special economic ties with its land-locked neighbour.
Under the trade treaty of 1996, India provides, on a non-reciprocal basis, duty free access to its market for all Nepalese-manufactured articles except a small negative list (cigarettes, alcohol and cosmetics).