Srinagar: The Salamabad Cross LoC Traders Union (SCLTU) on Monday threatened to wind up their business in March if the government fails to revoke the ban imposed recently on four items.
Addressing a press conference here Hilal Turkie, President SCLTU, said that cross LoC traders are dismayed over the ban on four main items of trade; Pistachio, Apple, Charmagaz and Anandana.
“If authorities do not revoke the recent order all SCLTU traders will close cross LoC trade,” Turkie said.
A statement issued by SCLTU said that cancellation of these items has come as a shock to the cross LoC trading community and such reduction of item makes trade difficult.
“Since the trade is barter and it is important to send and receive items to clear the balances among the traders across, such cancelation has reduced the trade substantially and is on verge of closure,” the statement read.
Turkie said there are apprehensions that banning several products might be a conspiracy to make cross border trade one sided so that it comes to an end.
“Every time a product is banned it seems something is fishy,” he said.
“Traders are told anything can be exported and only few things can be imported, we wonder, is all this being done to make the trade one sided, so that it dies of its own,” he said.
Turki also questioned Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti that if cross border trade was the dream of former chief minister, Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, has she ever wondered how traders run business in uncertain situations.
“Mufti Mohammed Sayeed in his short tenure conducted meeting with LoC traders several times and tried to address our issues, but Mehbooba Mufti never wondered what circumstances cross LoC traders are running business and what difficulties they face,” he said.
He added said that the government has not framed a policy for cross LOC traders regarding GST due to which they face difficulties.
“When we apply for invoice in GST portal our invoices are not accepted because of the absence of cross LoC option,” Turkie said, “We wrote to government couple of times but nothing was done to address our issues.”
SCLTU demanded that a dedicated authority be formed to manage cross border trade in order to streamline and enhance it. He sought setting up of a hassle free single window system for the trade, e-commerce and digitization of LoC trade so that real time monitoring and evaluation of the barter trade is done.
Turki also requested authorities to enhance security infrastructure including installation of CCTV cameras, full body truck scanners, X-ray machines.