POONCH: To review the pace and progress of Cross-LoC trade activities and to provide a platform to traders for mutual resolution of their trade related disputes, a joint meeting of traders and officials from both sides was organized at Chakan-Da-Bagh zero point here today.
Deputy Commissioner Poonch, Nisar Ahmed Wani, Senior Superintendent of Police Poonch, J S Johar, Director General, Trade and Travel Authority(PoK), Brigadier(Retd.) Imtiaz Wani, Additional Deputy Commissioner Poonch(PoK), Jameel Safdar, Assistant Commissioner Hajira(PoK), Sardar Shahbaz, Custodian TFC, Chakkan-Da-Bagh(J&K), Tanveer Ahmed, Custodian TFC, Chakan-Da-Bagh(PoK), Rizwan Latif besides traders from both J&K and PoK sides and other officers related with the Cross-LoC trade attended the meeting.
In detailed deliberations between delegations from both sides, it was agreed to encourage the Cross-LoC trade by removing unnecessary hurdles. Deputy Commissioner Poonch highlighted the dividends of cross-LoC trade saying that its dividends go beyond commercial gains and as a part of confidence building measures between both sides it must be promoted. While underlining the need for diversifying trade, Wani emphasized for encouraging and promoting serious traders and discouraging defaulters in barter trade. The delegation from PoK stressed for taking steps for further growth of trade and urged for regular meetings between the officials and traders to ensure its smooth conduct.
Traders from both sides impressed upon both the administrations to ensure presence of all defaulters in trade meets and also asked for increasing the number of tradable items and the number of trucks allowed in a day. They also demanded early installation of Full Body Truck Scanners which will increase the quantum of trade. Traders from both sides also pressed for multi-entry permit for traders to visit PoK for business purposes.
Other trade related issues like increase in list of tradable items from existing 21 to replacement of barter system with banking system and regular meeting of traders of both sides at LoC to settle their accounts were discussed. The officials also decided to strictly follow the time of gates opening and agreed to adhere to national and religious holidays of both the countries. Besides, the issue of currency exchange, limit on goods carried by passengers, list of registered traders on both sides, proper labelling of scientific names on items like herbs/medicinal plants and establishing of hotline between Custodians/TFOs of both sides were deliberated upon in details.
About 143 traders, 63 from J&K and 80 from PoK participated in the meeting, organized after a gap of five months, and resolved their trade related disputes mutually.
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