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non-tariff barriers creating problems in SAARC trade: Government
Lack of information
about non-tariff barriers creating problems in SAARC trade:
Press Trust of India, April,11,
Promoting intra-regional trade in South Asia will help
lukewarm demand, says a study
awareness about non-tariff barriers among traders of the South Asian
region is creating problems in enhancing intra-SAARC trade and
commerce, a government official has said.
"Lack of awareness about Non-tariff barriers (NTBs) is creating lot
of problems. Stakeholders like business associations should organise
seminars to make traders aware of the procedures followed by each
countries. The move would help in increasing trade," Director in the
Commerce Ministry Indira Murthy today said at a seminar here.
She was addressing representatives from South Asian countries like
Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal. The seminar on
`Participatory Approach to Address NTBs in Regional Trade` was
organised by CUTS.
Murthy said the government is working to resolve all matters related
with non-trade barriers to boost trade among South Asian Association
for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
"There is a sub-group who are looking at the issues related with
land custom stations. Negotiations are on to remove them (NTBs),"
She added that the governments are engaged to remove barriers
related with infrastructure and facilitates at customs stations like
The Director informed that India is not only spending money on
developing infrastructure but also organising outreach programmes in
the neighbouring countries informing traders about paper work and
She said that SAARC members should focus on issues such as energy
cooperation, Essential Services Maintenance Act ( ESMA) and work
closely to increase trade instead of competing with each other.
"Regional integration is the need of the hour. Why can`t we have
such agreement (ESMA) within the SAARC region," she said.
On the issue of standards, Murthy allayed fears of business
community and said unlike western world India does not follow
stringent standard norms. "There are certain mandatory standards to
ensure health and life of consumers. Traders should be aware of
those standards as it would help in harmonisation of products."
Speaking at the function, SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry
President Vikramjit Sahney said huge trade potential exists in South
Asia and efforts are on to remove all the NTBs to boost trade and
SAARC members include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India,
Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Trade between the member countries (excluding Afghanistan) stood at
$14.35 billion in 2010--11, an increase of 43.4 per cent vis--a--vis
the same period in the previous fiscal. Afghanistan joined the group
in May 2012.
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