19 Apr 2019
Trading of 21 items to hit after cross-LoC trade shut
Trading of 21 items like red chili, mangoes, herbs and dry fruits will be hit following the indefinite suspension of cross LoC trade in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said today.
Around 280 traders, who were directly involved in the trading will also be affected after the suspension of the business, which has touched Rs. 6,900 crore since its inception in 2008.
These items include almonds, embroidery items, tamarind, red chilli, dry-fruits
The 21 items listed for the cross LoC trade include bananas, embroidery items, tamarind, red chili and cumin for exports while imports mainly were almonds, dry dates, dry fruits, herbs, mangoes, and pistachio.
Suspension ordered because of "misuse" of cross-LoC trade
The trading was suspended at those points following reports that it was being "misused" by elements from across the border to smuggle weapons, narcotics and fake currency.
The Home Ministry said orders have been issued for halting the trade at Salamabad of Baramulla in Kashmir region, and Chakkan-da-Bagh of Poonch district in Jammu region, after reports of very large scale "misuse" of cross-LoC trade.
Cross-LoC trade was started on October 21, 2008 as CBM
The cross-LoC trade on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalakote routes was started on October 21, 2008, as a Confidence Building Measure (CBM).
Trade since 2008 till 2017 fiscal stood at over Rs. 4,400 crore at the Uri trading-center, while the figure for the same period at Poonch stood at Rs. 2,542 crore.
Initially, 646 businessmen from J&K had registered for trading in these two crossing points.
However, the number of businessmen now stands at 280
The number now stands at around 280, who are actually involved in conducting the business.
When the cross-LoC trade started, initially the business was for two days but from October 15, 2011, trading days were extended to four.
The home ministry said a stricter regulatory and enforcement mechanism is being worked out and will be put in place in consultation with various agencies.
A few trading persons related to banned terrorist outfits: Ministry
"Unscrupulous and anti-national elements are using the route as a conduit for Hawala money, drugs and weapons, under the garb of this trade," claimed the ministry.
It said during ongoing investigations of certain cases, the NIA has found a significant number of trading concerns engaged in the LoC trade are being operated by persons closely associated with banned terrorist outfits.
The trade has changed to mostly third party trade: Ministry
The issue of reopening of LoC trade will be revisited thereafter, said the ministry. "It has been revealed that the trade has changed its character to mostly third-party-trade and products from other regions, including foreign countries, are finding their way through this route," it claimed.
Some trading firms are under control of terrorist organizations: Ministry
"Investigations have further revealed that some individuals, who have crossed over to Pakistan, and joined militant organizations have opened trading firms in Pakistan. These trading firms are under the control of terrorist organizations and are engaged in LoC trade," said the ministry.