LoC traders to pitch for transit trade during historic AJK trip

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The first-ever traders delegation from Jammu and Kashmir would go to Azad Kashmir in August which would help promote transit trade on the LoC on the pattern of the Wagah border.

Traders said that the LoC trade between Uri and Muzzafarabad possessed huge potential for transit trade.

A 45-member delegation of traders would visit Azad Kashmir on August 26 to explore possibilities of strengthening trade-ties between the two parts of Kashmir.

“We will stress on increasing the number of tradable items as the governments of Indo- Pak had limited these to 21 items. We will try to ask for imported cement from Azad Kashmir,” said Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) President Abdul Hamid Punjabi.

“If transit trade was started through this route it would provide a major boost to trade in the region. Our exported items could reach the Gulf within three days while currently it takes 10 to 12 days by exporting via the Mumbai port,” he said.

Punjabi said that the move was an ice- breaker as it was the first time that a traders’ delegation was visiting Azad Kashmir.

“We urge the government of India to provide telephonic facilities to the traders from this side so they could remain in touch with their counterparts,” he added.

Punjabi also said that stress would be laid on holding annual buyer- seller meetings at both the trade centres.

“We would press on increasing tradable items including cement, cricket bats and iron,” Salamabad Chakoti Traders Union General Secretary Hilal Ahmad Turki said.

Turki said that banking, communication and visiting permission to the traders from both sides was needed to promote and facilitate smooth trade between the two regions.