Cabinet to ratify Afghanistan's accession to SAFTA

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New Delhi, Oct 3 (UNI) The Union Cabinet today approved ratification of the protocol of accession of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the agreement on South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA).

"Early ratification of the Protocol of Accession will accelerate Afghanistan's formal joining of SAFTA. It will also help in full implementation of SAFTA by putting pressure on Pakistan to adhere to SAARC norms for the Sensitive List and give transit to Afghanistan," Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi told reporters.

Alongside, it cleared ratification of the agreement on the establishment of South Asian Regional Standards Organisation (SARSO) and the charter of SAARC Development Fund (SDF).

"Early ratification of the SDF will accelerate implementation of the regional and sub-regional projects in SAARC. It will help in transforming SAARC from declaratory to implementation," the minister said.

The establishment of SARSO would enhance economic engagements with the SAARC countries by cooperating in the field of standards and quality control. It will accelerate full implementation of SAFTA by harmonising the standards in SAARC.

UNI SD MIR KN1530

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