Time to take cross-LoC trade to next level: Mufti

KL Report

SRINAGAR

Observing with satisfaction that the cross-LoC trade has benefited the people of state of both the regions in Jammu and Kashmir, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Thursday said that there was urgent need to take this system to next level.

“PDP is seriously considering to work for removal of all the bottlenecks so as to ensure smooth trade cross LoC enabling the people of Jammu and Kashmir to reap the benefits of the initiative,” Mufti said while interacting with a joint high level delegation of Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Kashmir and Jammu which called on him here today to highlight the hardships being faced by the traders engaged in the trade.

Prominent members of the delegation included Mohammad Ashraf Mir, president Federation of Industries Kashmir, Sheikh Ashiq, Chamber of Commerce Kashmir and Y V Sharma, former president of Chamber of Commerce and Industries (CCI) Jammu.

“Restrictions imposed on free movement of people and commodities due to the hostilities between India and Pakistan only deprived the region of the vast potential of economic activities that could have changed socio-economic conditions of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Considering this Cross LoC trade was the most significant and historic Confidence Building Measure (CBM),” he said adding that unfortunately there has been hardly any improvement in the system established about six years back.

He said that there was urgent need to further facilitate this trade in the larger interest of the peace and prosperity in this region.

Stressing on the need of a credible banking facilities and proper communication system to harness the full potential of the trans-LoC trade, the PDP Patron said, “We want that the trade is taken to the next level and ensure that the bottlenecks are removed.”

Expressing concern over the recent suspension of the trade, following recovery of a drug haul, he said, “High tech scanners can be put in place on the Facilitation Centers to ensure scrutinization of the material which crosses the Line of Control through the trade routes.”

The PDP patron said the LOC trade had a vast potential of growth and so had the travel between the two parts of the erstwhile state. He said the hassle free trade and travel could do a great extent neutralize the negative effects of partition on our state which was a hub of international trade before 1947 but has been reduced to dead end.

He also emphasized on the need of providing banking facilities to the traders of both sides. He said that a proper banking system has to replace the present barter arrangement, creating hassles in the smooth trade between the two parts of state. Responding further to the problems highlighted by the delegation, Mufti assured to take up their issues at the higher level.

He endorsed all demands of the delegations and reminded that PDP has repeatedly taken up the demand of providing required infrastructure including credible banking facilities and proper communication system so as to harness the full potential of the trans-LoC trade.

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