Srinagar:- Minister for Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Law & Justice, Abdul Haq has said that the Government has taken various steps to upgrade the cross LoC trade and to facilitate cross LoC travel.
He was replying to a resolution moved by Dr. Shenaz Ganai to convert LoC Trade Facilitation Centres as Modern Travel and Trade Centres and to allow banking and Cross LoC telecommunications at each centre, besides converting travel document into Multiple Entry Document.
Abdul Haq said that the Trade Facilitation Centres (TFCs) have been established at Salamabad, Uri and Chakan-da-Bagh, Poonch for the facilitation of cross LoC trade. He said upgradation of the two centres, was taken up under Phase-I in 2011 and has been completed.
He informed that an expenditure of Rs. 10 crores and Rs 7.95 crores, out of the funds provided by the Central Government under SRE and ASIDE respectively, has been incurred on these projects.
The Minister said that to further augment/upgrade the infrastructure and the facilities available at the aforementioned Trade Facilitation Centers, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India has approved DPRs under Phase-II at the cost of Rs. 10.73 crores and Rs. 10.41 Crores for Salamabad Uri and Chakan-da-Bagh Poonch respectively. He said these two projects have been taken up by the Industries & Commerce Department.
On Banking Mechanism for Facilitation of Cross LoC Trade, the Minister said that a proposal to consider introduction of Banking mechanism for facilitation of Cross LoC trade was received from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India for eliciting the views of the State Government.
He said that the matter was considered by the State Cabinet in its meeting held on April 27, 2016 and it was decided to convey acceptance to the proposal for providing banking facility to traders, thereby taking Cross LoC trade to the next level. He added that the same has been communicated to the Ministry of Home Affairs by Industries & Commerce Department.
Deliberating on Cross LoC telecommunication facilities at each LoC Trade Facilitation Centre, Mr. Abdul Haq said that the ISD facilities were earlier available at each LoC Trade Facilitation Centre, which had later turned non-functional. He added that the matter was taken up with the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and it has been informed that the Department of Telecommunication has restored six lines and work on the remaining nine lines is in progress.
The Minister informed the House that the State Government will take up the matter of further improving and upgrading the telecommunication facilities across LoC.
On Multiple Entry Travel document, the Minister said that Karwan-e-Aman Bus Service was launched in 2005, and single entry permit was introduced for the Cross LoC travelers. He added that soon it was observed that single entry permit is prone to delays and its processing takes substantial time due to the requirement of clearance from various agencies.
He said that considering the difficulties faced and a demand from people on both sides of the LoC to simplify the entry permit procedures, the system of a triple entry permit for Cross-LoC travel was introduced in 2008. He added that the Triple entry permit allows a permit holder to visit three times in two years through the same route.
Mr. Abdul Haq said that in view to further improve the flow of Cross LoC travel & trade, the State Government would take up the matter relating to multiple entry permits, with Government of India. Later the resolution was put to vote and rejected by the House.
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