Proposal for enhancement of tradable list of items submitted

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Gangtok, Mar 6 (UNI) Sikkim commerce and industries minister R B Subba today said the state government has already submitted a proposal to the Centre for enhancement of tradable list of items as well as upgradation of Nathu La border trade into a regular one.

The minister was replying to a question during the second day of Budget Session of the Sikkim Assembly. Gangtok MLA N K Pradhan sought to know whether there was a proposal to expand the list of trade items and upgrading the Nathu La border trade into a regular one.

Only 29 items are allowed to export and 15 items to be imported through the Nathu La border trade by Sikkimese traders of Sikkim to and from Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). The border trade is limited between Sikkim and TAR only and had resumed in 2006 after a gap of 44 years.

Most of the items in the trade list were obsolete with no market value and business on the either side had found it difficult to do business.

This had prompted Tshering Choden, TAR commerce head to inform the Sikkim authorities on the concluding day of the second year of border trade ( November 29, 2007 ) that business will be impossible in the third edition if a new list of items are not taken out.

Official figures state that total business done during seven months of trade last year (May to November) along the mountaineous corridor was around Rs 34.6 lakhs. Traders from Sikkim managed to export items worth Rs 27.8 lakhs while traders from Tibet came in a poor second by notching business worth Rs 6.8 lakhs only.


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