CHANDIGARH: Cross-border trade between India and Pakistan has come to a standstill following the 200 per cent customs hike imposed by the Union Government on goods imported from Pakistan following the Pulwama attack.
At the Attari-Wagah border consignments of cement, limestone, gypsum, dry dates, drugs and chemicals worth Rs 5 crore lay waiting at the Integrated Check Post (ICP) for customs clearance following the massive hike.
Anil Mehra, President of All India Dry Dates Association said that the association had recently met Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur and gave a memorandum to him requesting him to solicit a solution for the goods that arrived on February 16, the very day the customs hike was levied.
“The notification was communicated late in the evening at 19.40 hrs on the same day at ICP. The total import on that very date from Pakistan was for 90,000 bags of cement, 6,000 bags of dry dates, 500 MT of limestone with the approximate value of Rs 5 crores. The duty implication was approximately J1 crore, which most of the importers had paid as a normal routine on the same day for the lifting of their goods on February 17’’ said Mehra.
"The imposition of 200 per cent duty on the imports raised the duty amount to Rs 10 Crores, making the goods redundant… The trading community is under financial distress due to this reason,’’ he added.
The Union Government has been requested by the traders that they are provided waivers for the goods imported for the very day the hike was imposed.