High jump in cross-LoC trade

7 April 2009
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: In view of massive demand of cross-LoC business from weekly Poonch-Rawlakote route, the authorities on two sides today agreed to allow import and export on both days-Tuesday and Wednesday. Earlier, Tuesday had been fixed for export from Poonch to Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Wednesday for import from PoK to Poonch. 'With import and export of business between two parts of divided State showing an upward trend every week, we have decided to allow trucks to cross Chakan-Da-Bagh from both sides every Tuesday and Wednesday', Deputy Commissioner, Poonch, Mohd Aslam Bhat told the Excelsior. Mr Bhat said both way trade on two weekly days was part of Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs) announced by the Governments of India and Pakistan before the launch of cross-LoC trade last year. However, the authorities in Poonch and Rawlakote had decided that trucks will leave from Poonch to PoK every Tuesday and from PoK to Poonch every Wednesday. Now, with cross-LoC trade getting a boost every week, the SOP guidelines have been followed and trade from both sides allowed on two days, he added. Meanwhile, more traders from Jammu today jumped into the business of cross-LoC trade. It was for the first time last Tuesday that two traders of Ware House had joined their counterparts in Poonch to trade with PoK. Today, two more businessmen from Narwal started business with PoK businessmen. Items worth Rs 11.59 lakh were exported from Poonch to PoK while goods to the tune of Rs 5.67 lakh were imported from PoK to Poonch, official sources said. M-s Bansi Lal and Sons, Poonch exported 1305 bags onion (45,795 kg), 200 box bananas (900 kg), three bags ladyfinger (90 kg) and five box mangoes (75 kg) having an accumulated price of Rs 5.67 lakh. The items were exported to Choudhary Mohd Akbar, Proprietor, M-s Datta Agencies, Bandi Abbaspur, Hajeera, Kotli, PoK. M-s Ram Pal Sharma, Narwal, Jammu exported 380 bags onion (17,940 kg) worth Rs 1.95 lakh to the same PoK firm. He also sent one box sample each of grapes and apples. Another Jammu trader, Sat Pal Sharma exported 371 bags onion (18,730 kg) worth Rs 2.04 lakh and two tins honey (43 kg) at a cost of Rs 6880 to M-s Datta Agencies. Anand Sales Corporation, Poonch exported 300 box bananas (3400 kg) and 115 bags onion (6227 kg) carrying a price tag of Rs 1.43 lakh. The items were exported to M-s Mohd Rashid Hafiz Malik, Hajeera. Haji Abdul Razzaq exported 15 pairs of rugs for Rs 8550 and 20 rug sheets for Rs 7960 to M-s Datta Agencies. Total items exported today by the traders of Jammu and Poonch to PoK were valued at Rs 11,59,670. From PoK, a Hajeera based trader Shoaib Masood sent 250 bags ginger (5750 kg) worth Rs 3.85 lakh to M-s Sat Pal Sharma, Jammu besides one bag sample of melon. Mohd Aslam, a trader from Poonch imported 227 pairs of Peshawari sandals from Shoaib Masood worth Rs 1.22 lakh. M-s Bansi Lal and Sons, Poonch imported 100 bags Kinnow worth Rs 52,000 and 50 boxes melon (750 kg) at the cost of Rs 3000 from M-s Datta Agencies. Total imports to Poonch from PoK today were priced at Rs 5,67,340. Ten trucks rolled out of Trade Facilitation Centre (TFC) Rangar, Poonch for PoK this afternoon. They include 5727 JK02F, 1385 JK02G, 0797 JK02F, 0932 JK02E, 2371 JK02A, 7167 JK02C, 0869 JK02J, 1278 JK02G, 9845 JK02T and 0297 JK02U. The privileged drivers, who crossed LoC to enter PoK, were Javed Iqbal of Kalakote, Showkat Ali of Ramban, Ishtiyaq Ahmed of Sunderbani, Mohd Farooq of Rajouri, Mohd Naseem, Mohd Shamim and Anwar Hussain of Nowshera, Safed Hussain of Qasba, Poonch, Mohd Aslam of Nowshera and Mohd Qayoom of Banpat, Poonch. The trucks that entered Poonch from PoK were 4614 RLF and 7878 LFK and were driven by Mohd Akbar of Hajeera and Iftiyar Ahmed of Kotli. Khadim Bukhari, Trade Facilitation Officer (TFO), Rawlakote, PoK and Matloob Khan, TFO Poonch were present at Chakan-Da-Bagh during exchange of items.