Cross LoC trade to resume on Tuesday

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SRINAGAR: The Cross LoC trade which was suspended over a month ago due to certain objections raised by the customs department will resume on coming Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Salamabad-Chakuti Traders Union (SCTU)—a cross LoC traders body nominated four Coordinators two from each side of the border.  A telephonic meeting of SCTU leaders was held at Baramulla presided by Nazir Ahmad Lone. The meeting besides discussing important matters related to their trade, nominated four coordinators who will coordinate the trade through Uri-Chakothi and Poonch-Rawalkote stations. Asif Akbar Lone and Khurshid Ahmad Mir have been nominated as coordinators to look after the trade on Uri and Chakothi stations respectively. While as J P Singh and Qazi Ashraf have been nominated as coordinators for trade taking place through Poonch-Titrinote (Rawalakote) stations respectively.

Sources in the administration said that trade was essentially suspended following certain objections raised by the customs department of India pertaining to imports if items coming from places other than Pakistan Administered Kashmir. However, the government of Jammu and Kashmir took up the matter with Ministry of Home Affairs government of India a few days ago and the union ministry prevailed over the Customs department objections.

Sources said that the union home ministry wants the trade to continue on previous lines and there will be no ban on exchange of already identified list of 21 items from across the border.  

“Yes the Cross LoC trade will resume on Tuesday (October 8) on previous lines. On Thursday, we had a meet with Director General Trade and Travel at Kaman post. And we have now decided to resume the trade,” said Deputy Commissioner Baramulla Khwaja  Ghulam Mohammad.

The traders had suspended Cross LoC trade on September 3. General Secretary SCTU, Hilal Turkey had claimed that in case of products to be traded from India, the Ministry of Home Affairs has the final say, while as the products coming from Pakistan, the Customs Department acting as Trade Facilitation Center (TFC) has been given this power which amounted to the ‘gross violation’ of prescribed norms.

The traders had further alleged that authorities barred various traders from the Cross LoC trade for an ‘illogical’ reason of their relatives having involvement in subversive activities.

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