Cross-LoC Trade Increases

19 November 2009
The News International

Mirpur: Trade worth Rs73 million was conducted at Chakan Da Bagh Tairtinote entry point on Poonch Rawalakot route during the last two days. Cross-LoC business on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad route touched Rs60 million, official sources said. The sources said that 50 trucks exchanged sides till stipulated hours late Wednesday on Poonch-Rawalakote route, 25 from each side. Twenty-five trucks carrying coconut, kernel, bananas, apple and brown cardamom reached from Poonch to Rawalakot in Azad Kashmir on Wednesday. These supplies were valued at Rs15.6 million. All 25 trucks that reached occupied Poonch from AJK carried dal moong worth Rs22 million. On Tuesday items worth Rs14.9 million reached AJK from occupied Kashmir and Rs20.5 million were supplied to the held state on Chakan Da Bagh Taitrinote route. During the two days of this week, total supplies stood at Rs30.5 million and Rs42.5 million between both sides. Trade Facilitation Officer (TFO), occupied Poonch and Arshad Mirza, TFO Hajeera, AJK were present at Chakan Da Bagh Taitrinote crossing point during the cross-LoC movement of the trucks. This was for the first time that cross-LoC trade on Poonch Rawlakot route crossed the Rs70 million figure since it was launched on October 22, 2008. The trade crossed the Rs60 million mark only once, the sources added. Meanwhile, according to a report reaching here on Thursday from across the line of control, as the price of Moong dal, supplied from AJK, in domestic market continued to remain out of the common man’s reach, traders in AJK began flooding the market in occupied Kashmir with the dal as goods worth nearly Rs60 million were exchanged at the Salamabad trade centre at Uri on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road. “More than 99 per cent of the goods supplied from AJK to the other side of the Line of Control (LoC) over the past two days contain moong dal and conservative estimates put the cost of this single product supplied on Wednesday and Tuesday at over Rs37.5 million,” the report said. It said 50 truck loads of goods from AJK were received at the Salamabad trade centre on Wednesday while 61 loaded trucks were received on Tuesday. The vast difference in the price of moong dal in market of occupied Kashmir and this side of the LoC has made it the largest supplied item. Traders from occupied Kashmir sent 53 truck loads of goods from AJK in the two days of the weekly trade on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road on Wednesday. Similarly 44 trucks went to occupied Kashmir AJK on Tuesday. From occupied Kashmir nine trucks reached the liberated territory of AJK. The goods exported from occupied Kashmir mostly consisted of Kashmiri spices and handicrafts like shawls and embroidered suits. The report said that the rough estimate of the two-day trade across the LoC at Salamabad stood at Rs60 million but figures can go up after the exact details are tallied. “It is a cumbersome process as each and every bag is to be checked and tallied against the bills attached with the consignment. Exact details of the trade conducted this week will be known only tomorrow morning,” the report said quoting traders of occupied Kashmir. The report said that after a brief lull in the trade, the exchange of goods has picked up on the cross-LoC route over the past six months. The volume of trans-LoC trade over the past six months has reached nearly Rs700 million. Traders from both sides of the line of control have been demanding banking and direct communication facilities to facilitate trade on this route. They have also demanded an increase in the number of items on the list of trade on the cross-LoC routes.