Intra-Kashmir Trade Shows Signs Of Growth, Scales Up To Rs 5,000 Cr

2 May 2015
Greater Kashmir
Mukeet Akmali

Srinagar: As per data, during 2014-15, goods worth Rs 345 crore were exported to PaK from this part of Kashmir via Uri marking an increase of Rs 73 crore over Rs 272 crore recorded in 2013-14. Despite hiccups, the cross-LoC trade has recorded Rs 355 crore increase in business transactions in 2014-15 over the corresponding period of the year before. Official data compiled by state government reveals that on both routes - Uri and Chakan Da Bagh, through which the trade between the divided parts of Kashmir is carried has recorded considerable increase in import and export volume. As per data, during 2014-15, goods worth Rs 345 crore were exported to PaK from this part of Kashmir via Uri marking an increase of Rs 73 crore over Rs 272 crore recorded in 2013-14. The import volume via Uri in 2014-15 is pegged at Rs 540 crore. A year earlier it was Rs 405 crore. Thus there has been an increase of Rs 135 crore in 2014-15. Similarly, via Chakan-da-Bagh in Poonch, which is the second route for trade in Jammu and Kashmir, the business transactions have increased significantly. The data reveals that trade-out (exports) from this part via Chakan-da-Bagh during 2014-15 was Rs 131 crore whereas in 2013-14 it was Rs 75 crore, which means increase of Rs 56 crore in 2014-15. Imports in 2014-15 were recorded at Rs 199 against Rs 108 crore in 2013-14 showing an increase of Rs 91 crore. The cross -LoC trade between Kashmir and Muzaffarabad was started in 2008 as a confidence building measure by governments of India and Pakistan. The total volume of imports via Uri since the inception of intra-Kashmir trade has been recorded at Rs 1,419 crore, while the total exports via this route so far have reached to Rs 2,270 crore. The total volume exports via Chakan-da-Bagh has reached to Rs 490 crore and Rs 820 crore imports. Thus the overall trade volume of intra-Kashmir trade from both routes Uri and Chakan Da Bagh reached to Rs 4999 crore in 2014-15. Talking to Greater Kashmir, Finance Commissioner, Industries and Commerce, Khurshid Ganai confirmed intra- Kashmir trade was witnessing increase in trade volume. 'Since the inception of this trade, its volume is consistently showing upward trend,' Ganai said, adding that the government of India has taken up the issue of banking facilities at trade felicitation centres with Pakistan authorities. 'The centre government has already sanctioned augmentation of infrastructural facilities at trading centre's and demand of increase in tradable items is also under the active consideration of government,' he said, adding that currently only 21 items are allowed to be traded via intra-Kashmir routes.