PoK traders relent as threat to stop cross-LoC trade works

25 July 2009
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: Last week's warning by the traders of Poonch and Jammu threatening to stop the cross-LoC trade with their counterparts in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) for not sending goods of an amount equal to the items imported by them from here seemed to have worked with businessmen from across the Line of Control (LoC) this week exporting items worth Rs 3.10 crore, an all time high since the launch of trade. According to official sources and traders, the businessmen of PoK were benefiting a lot from the cross-LoC trade both in terms of import and export. Not only they were earning huge profits by exporting dal moong to the traders of Poonch and Jammu at high costs but also through import of onion, fresh vegetables, fruits and other items, which have high market value in PoK. On Tuesday last week, the traders from this part of the State had returned items loaded in just eight trucks, which had been sent by their counterparts from PoK, on the ground that they were not equivalent to the items exported to PoK from this side. The next day, no trade was conducted on Poonch-Rawlakote route by either side as PoK businessmen protested return of their trucks while traders of Poonch wanted their counterparts across LoC to send extra items to clear their amount worth Rs 2 to 3 crore, blocked by them. The traders on this side had threatened to stop cross-LoC trade, going on uninterruptedly since its launch on October 22 last year, if the PoK traders didn't clear their dues in the form of exports. Sources said the warning worked and the traders from PoK exported an all time high items to the tune of Rs 3.10 crore this week for the businessmen of Poonch and Jammu. As against Rs 3.10 crore worth imports, the traders from this side exported items worth just over Rs 37 lakh to PoK, thus, covering a previous deficit of Rs 2.73 crore. On two days of weekly trade on Poonch-Rawlakote route (Tuesday and Wednesday) this week, the traders from this side sent only 10 trucks items to PoK. However, from PoK, as many as 44 trucks reached Poonch carrying tradable items. According to sources, traders of Poonch and Jammu, dealing with cross-LoC business, received a volley of telephonic calls from PoK businessmen last week, who agreed to export extra items to clear all pending dues of the traders on this side. 'It was on the basis of telephonic calls and e-mails sent by the traders that the cross-LoC trade was resumed this week after last week's suspension and import-exports worth Rs 3.47 crore took place', sources said. They added that the trade next week was also expected to be on the higher side from PoK as few traders on this side were yet to get their dues from their counterparts across LoC. google_protectAndRun('ads_core.google_render_ad', google_handleError, google_render_ad);