SRINAGAR: Poonch Cross LoC traders are hoping that the new government at New Delhi would give boost to this barter trade, easing this trade by adding new trading items, developing communications and increasing the quantum of the trading.
President LoC Traders Association Chakan da Bagh, Pawan Anand told Kashmir Reader on Wednesday that trade has hit a plateau and there is immediate need to give flip to this trade that was set during the tenure of Congress Led government as a major Confidence Building Measures (CBM) between the two neighboring countries (India and Pakistan).
“We too have aspirations and hopes, and it is now for the new government to see that this trade flourishes in our state,” he said.
The Traders who on Tuesday has a marathon meet with their counterparts from Pakistan Administered Kashmir felt that there is an urgent need to give flip as the trade cannot be left to survive on a traditional mechanism of goods exchange amid restricted communication.
Anand also said that the trade is confined to exchange of limited items and scope of its growth has been dwindled by barring some of the tradable items since its inception in 2008, while the trade is limited to only 25 truckloads on four trading days a week.
General Secretary of the Union, Sardar Kishan Singh hoped that the new government should give special attention and perceive a change to revitalize this trade, thus sending a strong message across the LOC that “we are open to trade.”
Kishan said that the signals from the Pakistan side are very positive and this was visible in the recent meeting and it is now for the government in New Delhi to respond to these positive feelers.
The traders said that their wish list for a more liberal trade without bureaucratic controls from Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) needs to be looked into as the trade has now given flip to the economic activity in the area.
“We want communication ties with our counter parts in Pakistan, more quantum of trade, more hassle free transfer of goods at the crossing points,” he said hoping that the new government will give some sops to the trade.
At present 165 traders are engaged in trade from Poonch side while 171 traders are involved from PAK side.