LAHORE There is no need to worry over granting MFN status to India as 1,936 goods are already being imported from the neighbouring country. This was the upshot of the lectures delivered at a seminar organised by Pakistan Agriculture Scientists Forum here at UVAS. The speakers said that by creating trade barriers for India we did not supported industry rather strengthened the profiteers, who had been looting the public as well as the small farmers from a long time. The seminar was titled Impact on Pakistani agriculture and livestock sectors after declaring India as Most Favoured Nation. Speakers included Jamshed Iqbal Chima, Safdar Slim Sial, Mirza Ibrahim Mughal, Mustafa Kamal, Syed Baber Ali and Hafiz Wasi Muhammad Khan. Prof Dr Muhammad Nawaz, VC of the UVAS, said that we are self-reliant in food, stressing the need for good governance and better policies to compete not only with India but also with the European countries. He said that Pakistan has the worlds best quality buffalos and we can generate a huge amount of foreign exchange by exporting the cattle. He said that presently medicines are being manufactured in the country but raw material is imported. He said that the UVAS has started several programmes on biological medicine. To bridge the gap between industry and academia the UVAS is establishing a vaccine plant with the financing of Rs100 million. He regretted that Pakistan imported poultry vaccines of over Rs6 billion, which can be manufactured in the country through public-private partnership. The chairman of Pakistan Basmati Growers Association Hamid Malhi, while talking to The Nation, pointed out that there is no issue of granting MFN status to India but added that we should prepare ourselves to compete with India. He suggested Islamabad to impose regulatory duty on Indian goods as per the subsidy which these products are being provided by the Indian government. He suggested that Pakistan can forge joint ventures with Indian companies in IT sector, as India is exporting IT goods worth $60. Noted entomologist Ch Mushtaq Ahmed Warraich observed that the all economists of the country have consensus that enhanced trade with India would lessen the pressure of escalating inflation in Pakistan, where governments borrowings from the banking system has become a huge problem. Such borrowing is fuelling inflation and government is left with no option to deal with this worse situation. Because of lack of balance between income and expenditure, bank loan has become the only source of supplying money to the government. So by granting MFN status to India we can control the upward trend of inflation in the country, he said. He said that people of fixed-income group are passing through a difficult time due to hyper inflation. He said that Pakistan is importing around Rs7 billion goods from India out of which Rs5.5 billion products are traded via Dubai and Singapore. If we grant MFN status to India the whole trade would be done legally and in this way government will earn revenue. He said that there is a significant demand of Pakistani cement, kinnow and mango in India, as their fruits quality is almost 50 percent less than ours. Moreover they can never compete us in cement sector, as we have the mountains of such material which are used in cement, he added. He said that if border is opened today for visitors Lahore will become the centre of shopping. Agri Forum Pakistan Chairman Ibrahim Mughal said that if government is eager to enhance its imports from the nuclear rival state, firstly it should import cheaper fertilisers, diesel and electricity from there, as our manufacturers are looting the masses by selling their products at much higher rates. Diesel is Rs94 per liter in Pakistan while in India it is available for Rs77 per liter. Electricity is being provided to Indian growers at Re1 per unit and in Pakistan it is not less than Rs8.38 per unit, they said. The rate of agriculture produce is much higher in India than Pakistan while their cost of production is very low, as the Pakistani farmers spend Rs321.33 billon more on agri inputs as compared to Indian growers. He claimed that a bag of urea fertilizer of 50kg is available in Pakistan at Rs1,700 but the same bag in India is being sold for Rs513. Similarly DAP bag is being sold in Pakistan at Rs4,200, while in India it is available for Rs1,539. Some speakers were of the view that Indian exports were rising without MFN status whereas Pakistani exports have seen downward trend despite having MFN status, as the Pakistani exporters cannot get access to Indian markets because of the non-tariff barriers created by Indian bureaucracy. The Pak-India bilateral trade particularly through Wagha border route is only benefiting India, as 31,897 truckloads worth Rs21 billion reached Pakistan while only 4,664 trucks, having goods of Rs1.33 billion, were sent to the nuclear rival state during fiscal year 2010-11, they added.