Phone Link Revival Will Help Ease LoC Trade Losses19 March 2010
Srinagar: With Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather announcing the revival of telephone links across LoC in the State budget, traders here said that improvement in communication would help them to reduce losses. The budget announcement was made for making LoC trade transactions smoother and simpler. Rather also said the State Govt. is requesting the Centre for making the trade easier and improvement in basic infrastructure as “the quantum of trade across LoC is also increasing.” “We won’t incur losses now. The one-sided communication has often resulted in huge losses, which would cease with the opening of telephone links,” said President JK LoC Traders Association (JKLTA), Mohammad Tariq Khan. Khan said the Association had met Industries and Commerce Minister S S Salathia and pressed for opening of the telephone links at Salambad Trade Center. “This was our main demand,” he said. “We were at the receiving end and were not able to strike a better price deal in absence of communication links. This would compel us to trade goods without making any deal and accept the goods from the other side in whatever form they reached us,” said Khan. Khan, however, said they still are not able to make good gains due to non-availability of proper infrastructure. “There has to be a device to scan the goods and a weighing bridge. We have to hire labourers for unloading and reloading of goods,” said the President. He said they dispatch fresh fruits which after heavy checking are accepted as low standard fruits. “The laborers throw them from the trucks for checking which spoils them. We don’t get the proper price on fresh fruits from traders across the border. The government should set up scanner and weighing bridge which would save us from incurring loss,” said Khan. Treasurer JKLTA, Rashid Ali Zargar, said he incurred loss on pulses due to absence of telephone links from this side. “I bought 25 tonnes of pulses for Rs 60 per kg. But had to sell it for Rs 58 only,” Zarger said. “We can’t return the trucks as we can’t communicate with our fellow traders across LoC. They are unwilling to accept back the goods after one week,” he added. Zargar said they can now check the prices of eatables from many dealers and strike the best deal. “We can cancel the booking also if the demand lowers from this side,” said the trader. Presently, 70 items are on the active trade list in trance LoC trade. In the last week, the traders received 83 trucks of pulses and this week 103 trucks of pulses rolled here. “We fetch pulses only as its demand is high this time,” said another Trader Raja Zahoor.