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Importers, exporters hopeful of increase in Indo-Pak trade through ICP after shutdown

Date: 19-04-2019
Subject: Importers, exporters hopeful of increase in Indo-Pak trade through ICP after shutdown
AMRITSAR: The suspension of cross-border trade  through Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday has given a sigh of relief to the importers and exporters here who have been demanding from Centre government for the closure of trade owing to financial losses incurred to them due to duty concession given to the LOC  trade and alleged funding of terrorist activities from the money generated from the cross-LoC trade. 

While talking to TOI President of Federation of Karyana and Dry Fruit Commercial Association Anil Mehra said “We are very happy that government has finally conceded to our demand of closure of this illegal trade”. He said with the closure of cross LoC trade, Pakistan government would be forced to adopt legitimate ways and means to trade with India. 

According to reports, India on Thursday announced to suspend the cross-LoC trade with Pakistan on receiving intelligence agencies report that the trade route was being misused for pushing in fake Indian currency, drugs ,arms and ammunition besides the products which are not notified to be traded through the route. 

The duty free cross-LoC trade between J&K and PoK was started on October 21, 2008 through Salamabad (India) –Chakothi (Pakistan) and Chakan-da-Bagh (India)- Rawalkot (Pakistan) in J&K via Trade Facilitation Centre (TFC) . 

This trade is considered as trade between the two parts of the state and is not governed by foreign trade policy and Customs Act, 1962 is also not applicable to te cross-LoC barter trade. The government had allowed trading of 21 items of Kashmiri origin under the barter system in J&K. 

The trade route was also used by few importers and exporters to fund drugs trade. In the past, Amritsar  rural police had unearthed a racket involving a Amritsar-based exporter who used to send goods to Pakistan from J&K and receive payment from drug dealers in Amritsar. 

While hailing the governments decision of shutting the cross-LoC trade, a Bathinda  based trader Surinder Kumar said “We are hopeful that trade through ICP will now flourish." 

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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