New Delhi, Oct 27: The Cabinet today paved the way for resumption of trade between India and Pakistan through sea by approving a proposal for signing revised protocol on shipping services between the two countries.
The move, described as ''very important'' by Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, comes ahead of the November 13-15 Foreign Secretary level talks between the two countries that had been deferred in the wake of the July 11 Mumbai blasts.
The Revised Shipping Protocol would allow lifting of cargo between the two countries by third country vessels as well as lifting of third country cargo by India and Pakistan flag vessels from each others' ports.
This would enhance tonnage under both the flags and also result in competitive shipping rates, Mr Dasmunsi told reporters after the Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Dr Singh had talks with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf at Havana last month on the sidelines of the NAM summit at which the two countries agreed to set up a joint institutional mechanism to fight terrorism and set the agenda for the Foreign Secretary level talks to review the progress in the peace process.