Sikkim traders continue to show disinterest

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Gangtok, May 20 (UNI) Traders in Sikkim are still reluctant to cross border and go over to the Tibetan Autonomous Region(TAR) in the third season of Nathu La border trade.

Border trade over the 14,400 ft mountainous corridor of Nathu La Pass was declared open yesterday for this year.

Eighty one Chinese traders had crossed the border to reach Sherathang Trade Mart on the Sikkim side on the inaugural day, brimming with enthusiasm for the season ahead. Sikkimese traders cut a sorry figure with no show on the first day itself.

This was maintained today in the second day of the border trade as no Sikkimese traders crossed the border to reach Ringengqang Trade Mart in TAR.

No single trader from Sikkim showed up today, said George Sandyang, Superintendent of Central Customs placed for the border trade. In comparison to this, 55 Chinese traders arrived in Sherathang Trade Mart in 11 vehicles for trade purposes, he said.

State Commerce and Industries minister R B Subba had assured the TAR officials that Sikkim traders would definitely be participating in the trade.

The East district administration, which issues trade passes for the locals have already said that around 20 passes were lying unclaimed with them.

There were also few Sikkim traders at the Sherathang Trade Mart, Sandyang said.

The Customs official informed that the Chinese traders had brought unlisted items like blankets which were pushed back. The traders then left for TAR at around 1430 hrs, he said.

Sandyang also rued the lack of proper facilities like resting shed and parking facilities at the trade mart, which he said was affecting the services of Customs.

UNI BG LL RN1834

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