Banking, telecom facility critical to cross-LoC trade: CM Mufti

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Chakan Da Bagh (Poonch), Nov 21: Describing cross-LoC trade as the biggest breakthrough in the history of the state, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today placed high priority on extending telecom and banking facility to broaden the scope of business.

He also favoured inclusion of additional tradable items to give fillip to local industry in the state.

'Cross-LoC trade a big breakthrough'

"I will take up the matter at the highest level so that Pakistan is convinced to agree to the proposal in the next meeting of the Joint Working Group between the two countries," he said, while referring to extending telecom and banking facilities at both Salamabad (Baramulla) and Chakan da Bagh trading points.

The Chief Minister said this while addressing a high-level meeting at Trade Facilitation Centre (TFC), here during his visit to Poonch today.

Reiterating his resolve to take cross-LoC trade and travel forward, Sayeed said he was pleasantly surprised by the volume of trade transacted at both Salamabad and Chaka da Bagh through barter system.

"It would be my endeavour to take this trade to the next level by putting in place banking and telecommunication facility to demystify the trade, for which we expect a positive response from Pakistan," he added.

Sayeed said till such time a decision is taken to start banking and telecom facilities, an institutional mechanism needs to be evolved to facilitate periodic meetings between authorised bodies headed by respective Deputy Commissioners and representatives of trader organisations for streamlining the business between Chakan da Bagh and Rawalakote.

To bolster trade and ease travel across LoC, Sayeed said he is determined to make both Chaka da Baghand Salamabad show-windows. He pitched for adding more items in the approved list with focus on goods and products manufactured in various industrial estates of the state.

"We also need to take effective steps for promoting export of famed handicraft products of the state," he added.

On creating additional infrastructure at both trading points, the Chief Minister asked Director MHA to have the release of funds earmarked for the purpose expedited.

Till such time the funds are released, he asked the Chief Secretary to start work on creation of dedicated parking facility, residential accommodation and sites for installing x-ray machines both at Salamabad and Chakan da Bagh TFCs.


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