Pakistan agreed last November to open up more trade with India by replacing a list of items its bigger neighbour can sell across the border with a shorter list of items that cannot be traded — a move regarded as key to improving commercial ties.
Pakistan has agreed in principle to grant access to imports from India under the Most Favoured Nation status, but has yet to fully implement the change.
“We have granted the Most Favoured Nation status to India. Our cabinet has approved it,” Chaudhry told reporters in the Indian capital.
“Our commerce ministry is in the final stage of documentation of a notification to bring out certain items from negative list, including petrol,” he said. “The notification should be out in 14 to 15 days.”
Pakistan currently bans imports of Indian gasoline. It allowed diesel imports from India in 2009, but no Indian supplies were sent in the face of preferential prices offered by Pakistan’s allies such as Kuwait.
India’s oil minister S. Jaipal Reddy said in January that the country was examining a proposal to export petroleum products and gasoline to neighbouring Pakistan.
Chaudhry said Pakistan was aiming to build its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, which it hopes to commission in the second-half of the next year.
Four-to-five companies, including global oil major Royal Dutch Shell and South Korea’s Daewoo, have shown interest in supplying LNG to Pakistan under a tender seeking 500 million cubic feet a day (MCFD) gas, he said.
The government plans to award the tender in one month, Chaudhry said.