Jammu and Kashmir proposes opening of 7 more LoC trade points

JAMMU: The Jammu and Kashmir government has proposed opening seven additional trade routes and two meeting points across the LoC and International Border in Jammu and Kashmir, the Mehbooba Mufti government said on Wednesday.

The state government has conveyed its agreement to the centre for opening seven additional trade routes across the LoC and International Border in Jammu and Kashmir, the state’s Minister for Industries, Chander Parkash Ganga, said while replying to the discussion on ‘Demand for Grants of the Industries and Commerce Department’ in the State Assembly on Wednesday.

He said the new routes proposed for trade include Jammu-Sialkot, Chhamb-Jourian to Mirpur, Gurez-Astoor-Gilgit, Jhangar (Nowshera)-Mirpur and Kotli, Turtuk-Khapulu, Kargil-Skardu and Titwal-Chilhan (Across Neelam Valley).

He said besides two meeting points namely Hundurman on Kargil-Skardu route and a suitable point at Turtuk-Khapulu route are proposed by the state government.

Regarding the cross-LoC trade, the minister said that construction of infrastructure at both the Trade Facilitation Centres – Chakkan-Da-Bagh, Poonch and Salamabad, Uri with an estimated cost of Rs. 10.41 crore and Rs. 10.73 crore, respectively under Phase-II has been initiated.

He said the cross-LoC trade of goods has been going on for the past nine years and this barter system of trade has recorded an import worth about Rs. 3,091.14 crore and export worth about Rs. 3,411.50 crore since inception.

COMMENTSHe said a list of 21 more tradable items for inclusion in the Agreed List of Tradable items for cross-LoC trade has been submitted to the centre for taking up with Pakistan.

He said introduction of banking system for LoC trade has also been taken up with the centre.