Kashmir LoC Trade On Verge Of Closure

Kashmir LoC Trade On Verge Of Closure

18 November 2012
Kashmir Watch


Srinagar: The much-hyped cross-LoC trade is on a steep decline with most traders losing confidence and wealth in this trade. When the trade across the Line of Control began in 2008, initially it generated a lot of hype and hope and very steadily some 400 traders got involved in it. However, today the situation is such that the number of traders still associated with the cross-LoC trade has dwindled to just 30. “Trade across the border was initiated in 2008 as a huge confidence building measure. Today it is on the verge of closure as the number of traders has declined from 400 to 30,” local news agency KNS quoted sources as saying. General secretary, Joint Chamber of Cross-Loc Trade, Hilal Turki said that in 2008 various traders applied for loans and got involved in this cross-border trade. At one point of time some 600 traders associated with this trade. “We’ve been demanding communication facilities across the border for the trade purposes and even Mr Shinde, the Union Home Minister, also assured us of this facility during his last visit to Kashmir,” said Turki. But thus far nothing has been done about it. Similarly the banking facilities are missing and capping it all is the fact that the authorities are arbitrarily imposing ban on the import or export of certain commodities without taking the traders on board, he said. The authorities banned the export of coconut some eight months ago. Fact of the matter is that the export of coconuts alone had had reaped us profits of Rs1.25 crores, informed Turki. He says it is the lack of requisite facilities together with the arbitrary decisions of the authorities of two sides which is discouraging the traders and practically forcing them out of this cross-border trade. “Authorities in India and Pakistan are eagerly waiting to see the cross-border trade dying; that is why they’re not serious about the banking, communication and other required facilities needed for the trade,” alleges Turki.