Protest Against VAT By Cross LoC Traders In J&K28 May 2011
The Economic Times
Srinagar: Cross Line-of-Control traders today held a protest here demanding revocation of Value Added Tax (VAT) on trade between two parts of the divided Kashmir. 'As per the VAT Act, sellers and buyers should be in the state control, where as the sellers and buyers of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) are not in control of the J&K government. PoK dealers cannot register their firms under VAT,' General Secretary of Salamabad-Chakoti Traders Unions Hilal Turki said He said keeping in view the ground situation, VAT should not be imposed on the cross-LoC trade. The traders had earlier suspended the trade for past eleven weeks in protest against government's decision. The traders also put forth seven other demands including increase in the number of trading commodities from present 14 items by convening a meeting of traders from both sides of LoC. 'It is requested the revised list should be forwarded to both the governments,' Turki said. The traders union also demanded that the number of days specified for the trade be increased from two to four, keeping in view the increased number of traders and trade activities. The union members said that traders are facing difficulties to communicate with their counterparts as there is no regular communication link in place. They also demanded regular meetings between traders at the zero-line on LoC. Cross-LoC traders also requested New Delhi and Islamabad not to impose ban on the agreed list of items. 'In essential cases, if the two governments impose a ban on any agreed item, the traders association should be informed in writing at least four weeks in advance,' Turki said. The cross-LoC trade, billed as one of the biggest confidence building measures between India and Pakistan, was started in October 2008.