Indian team inspects cross-LoC trade facilities

6 September 2008
The Daily Times

Islamabad: A high-level team of Indian officials on Saturday reviewed preparations and facilities at the Salamabad and Kaman posts in Uri to accentuate opening of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad route for trade. Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra told the team that the goods trading through the Line of Control (LoC) would be duty-free and asked it to speed up the process. The team consisting of Ministry of External Affairs Joint Secretary Raghavan, Kashmir Home Department Joint Secretary S Skandan and Customs Commissioner S Devinder Singh arrived in Srinagar early morning. The team was told that ultra-modern X-ray facilities had been set up at Salamabad and a truck could be scrutinised by passing it through a machine without removing its load. Inspection: “The team inspected the custom clearance facilities for the incoming and outgoing goods, warehouses for the goods, parking facilities for vehicles and other support services for running a Land Customs Station,” said a press release issued by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir. The team had last visited the site in the last week of July. They asked the state authorities to complete the remaining civil works, including the construction of a truck terminal by the end of September. Custom authorities have also asked for some alterations to suit their requirements. The team was told that some additional land was also being acquired for developing a state of the art permanent Land Customs Stations in the near future. The team is scheduled to visit Chakan Da Bagh in Poonch on Sunday (today), where a similar Land Customs Station is being constructed for facilitating the trade through the Poonch-Rawalakot route. “The governor emphasised on an early completion of the remaining works by the end of the month so that the duty-free trade starts next month, subject to modalities of trade being finalised bilaterally with Pakistan,” said the government statement.