Lopsided participation in first three days of Nathu La trade

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Gangtok, May 21 (UNI) The disenchantment of the local traders towards the third edition of Nathu La border continued even for the third day today since the reopening of the border trade between Sikkim and Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) on May 19.

While 30 Chinese traders from TAR trooped down to Sherathang Trade Mart today, no single Sikkim trader took the trouble of matching the compliment by reaching to Rinchengqang Trade Mart in TAR.

Rinchengqang Trade Mart, the TAR authorities had said, had been spruced up and ten shops allocated to the Sikkim traders.

But the elaborate preparation had failed to boost the Sikkim traders.

Customs officials posted at Sherathang informed that the mart was closed with no Sikkim traders' presence.

The Chinese traders waited for their Sikkim counterparts, took lunch and went back at around 1:30 PM, said a Customs official.

The departure was quicker than yesterday's timing at 2:30 PM.

The unlisted items, brought by the Chinese traders, were also pushed back by the Customs officials.

The archaic list of imports and exports had been singled out as the main reason for the disinterest among the local traders many of whom had left in the red after the losses in the first two seasons.

Apprehension of stringent checking on both sides after the Tibetan uproar in Tibet was also one the factors.

Meanwhile, the State Commerce Department had expressed their helplessness and said they could not force the local traders to participate in the border trade.

A meeting will be held with the local traders to deliberate on the issue.

A Parliamentary Community is arriving on May 24 for a stock taking visit of Nathu La trade and Sherathang infrastructure. They will be visiting Nathu La on May 25.

East district administration had informed that 25 trade passes had already been issued to the traders and many were in the process of verification.

UNI BG SJC SBA RAI2018

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