New Delhi: After allowing Pakistani businessmen to invest in India, the government will soon permit domestic entrepreneurs to explore business opportunities in the neighbouring country.
     
Commerce Secretary S R Rao said the Finance Ministry will soon notify guidelines allowing investment in Pakistan by Indian companies and individuals through semi-automatic route.
     
The move comes ahead of the Commerce Secretary level talks between the countries that are likely to take place in the second week of the next month.
     
"The Ministry of Finance will soon notify along with RBI the rules for making outbound investments in Pakistan through the semi-automatic route. There are certain issues that need to be sorted out from our side and concerns that need to be addressed from the Pakistan side pertaining to Indian investments," Rao told reporters here.
     
He said the notification is expected to come out before or after the visit of External Affairs Minister S M Krishna to Pakistan early next month.
     
Pakistan had expressed concerns on certain issues related with investments from India, he said, adding the notification would address all the matters and clearly specify the areas where investments will be allowed by Indian companies.
     
"A screening committee will also be formed under RBI to filter the applications for investments and joint ventures," Joint Secretary in the Commerce Ministry Arvind Mehta said.

Mehta also said the Finance Ministry will notify within a week the 30 percent reduction in the sensitive list, which has already been cleared by the Union Cabinet.
     
Rao said a roadmap was laid down by the two Commerce Ministers in April for taking forward the dialogue on trade normalisation.
     
On opening bank branches, the secretary said banking regulators from both the sides had agreed to allow opening of two branches in their respective countries.
     
"It has been decided that let the banks put in applications and a call will be taken by the concerned regulatory authorities on the issue," he added.
     
Further, Mehta said that Pakistan has promised to move ahead on eliminating the list of 1,209 items on the negative list. He also expressed hope that Pakistan would allow trade in more items through land route, which is currently permitted to 137 items.
     
"We are hopeful that they will do it soon," Mehta added.

(Agencies)

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