Chennai: Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar on Friday said Pakistan has promised to remove by this year-end, goods in the negative list, a move that will boost trade between the two countries.
"By end of this year, they (Pakistan) have promised us that negative list will go," he said, participating in an interactive meeting organised by FIEO.
He said 8,000 items in the negative list until February 29, 2012 has now come down to 1200. "Still there are about 1,200 items that cannot be traded. But this (removing of items from negative list) is a very big move".
Khullar recalled that both countries have come a long way since his visit to Islamabad last year.
"As long as your businesses is not in the negative list, you (a trader) are safe, he said.
"You please understand that this is very difficult, diplomatic commercial negotiation," Khullar said.
He dismissed theories that opening up trade relations would benefit only the state of Punjab and not the entire country. "It will not only benefit Punjab, but India (as a whole)," he said.
Khullar told traders that government is making all efforts to get the negative list done away with.
He said a team from ministry of commerce and industry, led by the joint secretary, would vist various parts of the country later this year to explain the details of the changes in the negative list.