Demands of traders in Jammu and Kashmir for inclusion of more items in the Line of Control (LoC) trade facilities and business through normal banking channels are unlikely to be met anytime soon with the “suspension” of dialogue between India and Pakistan.
Jammu and Kashmir government as well as businessmen of the state have been seeking inclusion of more goods in the list of 21 items approved for export and import by the traders of both sides at Chakan Da Bagh and Salamabad meeting points, official sources said.
There have been demands for widening the scope of CBMs and including banking facilities, instead of current barter system, telephone connectivity and undertaking trade in dollars between two sides.
“However, all these proposals are unlikely to come into reality anytime soon due to the current low in the India-Pakistan relations after the January 2 terror attack in Pathankot airbase,” a source said.
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Among the items proposed to be included in the list of traded items are metal, alloy and chemical products, ready-made garments, edible products, cricket bats, wooden and steel furniture, canned wazwan and chicken, Plaster of Paris, juices and jams, packaged drinking water, besides plastic and sanitary wares.
Last week, Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit had said bilateral peace process between India and Pakistan stood “suspended”.
The cross LoC trade, which started in 2008, takes places four days a week between Tuesday to Friday. With 303 traders registered to trade in 21 items approved for export and import between two sides.
Goods worth around Rs 1,100 crore had been traded through Chakan Da Bagh and Rs 1,700 crore through Salamabad points during the last eight years.