India to provide textiles’ duty free market for SAFTA

Commodity Online, India

India to provide textiles’ duty free market for SAFTA

23 April 2008

NEW DELHI: India will provide duty reduction to the Agreement on South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) member countries ranging from zero to five percent within ten years, said Minister of State for Textiles, E V K S Elangovan today.

In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, he said in pursuance of commitment made during SAFTA negotiations, the government has decided to provide zero duty market access for 8 million pieces of garments annually from Bangladesh, operationalized through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the governments of India and Bangladesh.

It has also been decided to provide zero duty market access for 3 million pieces of garments annually from Sri Lanka under the India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Area without any sourcing conditions and port restrictions in terms of a MoU signed between the governments of India and Sri Lanka, he said.

The above mentioned quantities represent a small percentage of the domestic consumption, and are unlikely to adversely affect the domestic garment industry.

The Agreement on South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) was operationalised from 1st July 2006.

source: