Thursday, July 28, 2011

Traders meet in Poonch

For the first time after suspension of trade for four months, traders of both sides of divided Jammu and Kashmir today settled their accounts and urged governments of the two countries to increase the trading days as well as the number of goods, during the traders meet organised by the authorities here at Rahe Milan, Chakkan-Da-Bagh.

The traders from Pakistan administered Kashmir, however, initially decided to suspend the meet as the three most prominent defaulting traders were not present there but later with mutual understanding the meeting was carried out peacefully. PAK traders have submitted a list of 31 defaulter traders to Indian authorities while Indian traders submitted a list of 17 defaulter traders to PAK authorities and it was unanimously decided to bring all of them in this traders meet so that their accounts were settled and they get their due payment from the defaulter traders.

105 traders of J&K and PAK today converged on Chakkan-Da-Bagh and debated various issues connected with growth and strengthening of LoC trade in the backdrop of Indo-Pak foreign ministerial level talks.

The traders on the two sides also exchanged the list of the defaulting traders who had failed to clear their dues, they said.
Indian traders demanded enhancement in the number of trucks, giving list of disputed parties, trader to trader trade and five days permits for the traders to survey the markets of other country. Traders also demanded Indo-PAK governments intervention in boosting cross LoC trade as according to them there is no profitable item being imported or exported.

Traders Pawan Anand, Krishan Singh, Amin Magrey, Rajinder Vaid welcomed the decision of both the governments for enhancing the number of days from two to four. They, however, regretted that their was no benefit for enhancing number of days as there was a list of 21 items for cross LoC trade which was decided to be enhanced but instead of enhancing these, authorities have banned some profitable items on the excuse of their packing. They urged upon both the governments to solve the problems of traders of both sides as they are running this trade just to improve relations with each other and not to earn profits. They also demanded traders list of PAK traders from PAK as the authorities did not provide the same to them.

The traders of both the sides expressed their satisfaction over the outcome of the talks and urged governments of India and Pakistan to increase the number of trading days and also increase the number of the trade items of the LoC trade.
The meeting was organised under the supervision of Abdul Hamid Custodian Cross LoC Trade and Kuldeep Raj TFO Poonch while  Mirza Arshad Jaral ADC Tetrinote  supervised traders meet from PAK side in the traders meet.

A total of 105 traders including 49 from Indian side and 56 traders from PAK side participated in the traders meet.
Official reports said that more than three traders settled their accounts which were pending from last more than one year.
Pak trader Choudary Mufti Basarat, Mohammad Hafiz, Mohammad Akbar, Zardar Abbassi, Mohammad Raza told KTNS  there was need of trader to trader trade so that the middle man are shunt out from this Cross LoC trade. They alleged that some Indian traders have blocked their payments and they requested Indian authorities to provide their money to them so that they will further carry on this trade.

“We have brought a ten point formula for smooth functioning of this trade which must be supported by Indian counterparts,” they said, extending support to their Indian counterparts on the issue of providing traders permits by the authorities of both sides.

After the meeting Abdul Hamid Custodian Cross LoC Trade told KTNS that today he have got a list of 8 defaulter traders from PAK and he will ask them to attend the next traders meet. To a question of three main defaulters, he said that legal action will be taken against them.

The meeting started at 12.55 PM and culminated at 4.45 PM.

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