Pakistan has agreed to lift a four-year ban on Indian sugar, according to the BBC.

Its top economic body has also agreed to increase the total amount of sugar that can be imported.

The government is responding to a shortage of sugar in the country, Pakistani government adviser Ashfaque Hasan Khan told the BBC news website.

Pakistani sugar prices reached a four-year high in February. The move also reflects improving relations between Delhi and Islamabad.

The government agreed to allow the duty-free import of raw and refined sugar by both the public and private sector three weeks ago, Khan said. But the Economic Coordination Committee only took the decision to include India in the list of importers on Tuesday.

Pakistan banned the import of Indian sugar in 2001 following complaints that cheap imports were hurting domestic sugar producers.

But low rainfall is forecast to have caused a 20% drop in Pakistan's sugar crop this year.

The easing of restrictions on sugar follows a decision by the Pakistani government in May to allow private traders to import fresh garlic, onions, tomatoes, potatoes and livestock for meat from India.