The blind barter that is the rare Kashmir-specific outcome in the India Pakistan bonhomie is shrinking. While only 26 truckloads could cross the Kaman bridge from Uri, there were barely six truckloads that were dispatched from Poonch through Chakan da Bagh, traders said.
“It is at phenomenally low,” a trader said from Salamabad said. “Last week more than 250 trucks were dispatched from this side.”
The main problem, traders insist is the limitation in the items that could be traded. Till recently, traders were sending different verities of red chili in different forms. Now, the market on the other side is not having that much of appetite for chili. “Right now the demand is massive for the coconut and coconut powder but it has been banned,” the trader said.
Watching the significant shifts in the volumes over past few months, the trans LoC traders had met visiting Home Minster Sunil Kumar Shinde seeking a review of the trading items. They said they are waiting for a positive response, something that the minister had promised.
Rising un-viability of the trade has reduced the number of traders associated with the barter. In most of the cases, trade insiders said, indebtedness of the traders has gone up.