Poonch: Traders of Jammu and Kashmir
and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, with business interests across
the LoC, today demanded streamlining of facilities including
increase of weekly trade from two days to four days and a
review of approved list of items between India and Pakistan.
One hundred and eighty two traders from both the sides,
including 69 from India, met at zero line at Chakan-Da-Bagh in
Poonch district this afternoon in the presence of officials
from both the sides to sort out their problems, official
sources said here.
The meeting was arranged after the Deputy Commissioner,
Poonch, Kuldeep Khajuria had spoken to authorities in
Rawalakot and Hajira in POK to sort out the issues, which had
led to suspension of business for past two weeks, they said.
After the deliberations, the traders of both the sides
demanded that there should be increase of weekly trade from
two days to four days, increase of trucks from average 25 to
50 from each side.
They also demanded circulation of list of tradeable items
among the traders of both the sides as per Standing Operation
Procedures (SOPs), governing the LoC trade and holding of
monthly meeting instead after three months between traders of
both the sides.
"We also laid thrust that the authorities of both
sides should acquaint the businessmen with the items allowed
for import and export by Government of India and Pakistan as
trade got suspended earlier due to ban on items of import and
export", Pawan Anand, a representative of the traders, said.
During the meeting, the officials from Indian side
included Manager, District Industry Centre, Poonch, Munir
Hussain and Trade Facilitation Officer (TFO) Gurmail Singh,
while from POK side the officials included Education Minister
Noorin Arif, Assistant Commissioner (Revenue) of Hajira Arshad
Mirza and Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of Hajira Parvez
Yaqoob, they said.
Business between two sides on this route was suspended
for the last two days as traders had boycotted in view of the
ban on supply and purchase of carom seeds from POK by the
government here. Last week also, the trade activity between
two sides was suspended.
The authorities have so far allowed two days- Tuesday
and Wednesday- in a week for trade activities, while every
Monday, people from the divided families visit their relatives
on both sides.