Punjab exporters call for streamlining trade between J and K and PoK

New Delhi, Sep. 26 (ANI): Some exporters in Punjab feel that that the system of "barter trade" between Jammu and Kashmir (J and K) and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) is being misused by anti social elements on both sides of the border.

The exporters want the Govenment of India to intervene to stop the facility from being misused.

In 2008, the Governments of India and Pakistan, as part of Confidence Building Measures (CBMs), had started trade between J and K and PoK with a special provision of "duty free" trade.

It was clearly mentioned in the Home Ministry's notification no. 1305/17/2007 - K.II Dt. 20th October 2008 that the trade was strictly for the goods of Kashmir origin .

It has been pointed out that some traders are smuggling of all sorts of cargo using this facility.

It is alleged that maximum misuse is being done in the case of dry fruit, spice and crude drugs. he exporters in Punjab allege that the products like almond kernels and almonds of US origin, pistachio kernels, raisins of all types, apricot, almond kernels, and almonds of Afghanistan are being traded through these routes and bogus country of origin certificates are allegedly fabricated in Pakistan.

B. K. Bajaj, President Indo- Foreign Chamber of Commerce, wants such pratices to be stopped and a stringent system to be put in place to properly authenticate the country of origin of the cargo.

He has pointed out that the volume of exports to Pakistan, which were to the tune of almost 100 crore per month, have come down to mere 20 crore per month.

He said a memorandum in this regard was handed over to Prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on September 22 at his residence.

The Pakistani exporters have, in a letter to the Indian High Commission in Pakistan, have brought this practice to his attention.

Riaz Arshad, President Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has said that the illegal trade through these channel has severely damaged the legal trade activities between the two countries and need to be checked to avoid further damage to the bilateral trade. By Ravinder Singh Robin(ANI)

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