Jammu, Jan 14 (PTI) With cross-LoC trade rising sharplybetween J&K and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), the stategovernment has exported goods worth Rs 178 crores to PoK,while it imported goods worth Rs 297 crores in Pakistancurrency from PoK during the current financial year.
"Cross LOC trade has been rising sharply. The factsand figures reveal that there has been sharp increase on LOCtrade during last two years of coalition government", Ministerfor Industries and Commerce, S S Salathia said, whilerubbishing the statement of PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Syed oncross LOC trade, terming it misleading and far fetched.
Substantiating his claim, he said up to March 31, 2009since inception of the trade, the state has exported goodsworth Rs 2.76 crore, while the exports reached Rs 131.96 croreduring last fiscal and this fiscal, the state has alreadyexported goods worth Rs 178. 68 crore up to December, whichshows the turnover of the trade is rising sharply.
Slathia further clarified that the State has importedgoods worth Rs 64 lakhs only from October 10, 2008 to March31, 2009, while the State registered Rs 219.48 crore (in Pakcurrency) imports during last fiscal.
"And this fiscal the imports up to December have reachedRs 297.01 crore," he added.
Strongly advocating dismantling of the barriers imposedby NC-led government for harass-free cross LoC travel andtrade between two sides of Kashmir, PDP had on wednesdayreiterated his demand of allowing free movement of people andcommodities across the dividing line of J&K.
"We strongly advocate dismantling of the barriers createdby Present NC-led government for harass free cross LoC traveland trade between two side of the Kashmir," former ChiefMinister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Patron, MuftiMohammad Sayeed said.
Slathia said that vision of opening Muzafferabd-Srinagarroad and other LOC links has been given by toweringpersonality Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah.
He said, "It was Sheri-e-Kashmir who openly advocatedfor opening of these roads for all kind of trade and freemovement.
The Minister said the hype given by one particular partyabout LOC trade may explain that why during their rule thetrade was not started at all and industries figures doesn''tshow even a single penny''s worth of trade during their muchhyped Muzafferabad route opening campaign.
Slathia made it clear that the present coalitiongovernment is determined to increase the LOC trade andstrengthen the infrastructure to give the trade further boost.
He said the present chief minister has even urged Railwayauthorities to take the train to Kupwara up to LOC, so thatthe trade is made more vibrant, efficient and viable throughrailway links.