Indo-Pak Officials Likely to Meet Next Month on LoC Trade

Published: 27th February 2014 08:02 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th February 2014 08:02 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

India and Pakistani officials are likely to meet here next month to review Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for trade along the Line of Control in the wake of the row over arrest of a truck driver hailing from Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) for allegedly smuggling 'brown sugar' worth Rs.100 crore.

Trading relations between the two countries had hit a new low following the incident at Kaman post in Uri of North Kashmir on January 17 and the traders were not allowed to cross over for over three weeks.

However, the matter was resolved and the trading began in Poonch-Rawalakaote of Jammu division on February 20 but it could not restart in Uri-Muzaffarabad road in Kashmir division as PoK authorities refused to open the gates.

Amid indications that Pakistan is willing to resume full fledged cross-LoC trade, a day long meeting was held here yesterday to finalise the agenda of a meeting likely next month, official sources said.

During the meeting, participated by officials from External, Home and Finance ministries, banks, security agencies, Army and state government, it was decided to work out ways for increasing volume of trade besides reviewing the list of items exchanged in the cross-LoC trade in the meeting with Pakistani officials.

The sources said both sides will review the latest development of the case pertaining to brown sugar seizure and work out a formula to deal with such incidents in future.

The Indian side is also likely to press for routing the cross-LoC trade through banking channels rather than the barter system being practised at present, the sources said.

The Indian side has been making concerted efforts to persuade the Pakistani side on this issue in view of the enormous increase in the volume of trade, they said.

Goods worth Rs 345 crore worth have been exported from Chakan Da Bagh side while Rs 600 crore worth of goods has been imported drom 2008 till January this year.

Goods worth Rs 1,033 crore have been exported from Srinagar to Muzaffarabad where as the import figures stood at Rs 1,680 crore during this period.

Under the present agreement, trade between the two sides happen only by exchange of goods with no money changing hands.

The two sides will also take up the issue of installation of cargo scanner at the check points so that the arduous way of checking the trucks and the cargo is minimised. The scanners will check if the vehicles are ferrying arms, explosives and drugs.

India will press for permits for people from either side for religious tourism purposes besides opening up of Gilgit-Skardu and Jammu-Sialkote roads for greater people-to-people contacts and giving a boost to trade.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp