Jammu industry for inclusion of local products in revised norms for Cross LoC trade
Jammu, Apr 21 (PTI) Local industry here Saturday called for the inclusion of locally-made industrial items while framing the revised Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for restarting the cross LoC trade which was suspended by the Centre on Thursday.
In a related development, the Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) requested for the resumption of the cross-LoC trade at the earliest and fixing of responsibility for “administrative lapses resulting in the breach of security and suspension of the trade”.
Hardening its stand against Pakistan, India Thursday indefinitely suspended cross-LoC trade at two points along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir effective Friday, following reports that it was being “misused” by elements from across the border to smuggle weapons, narcotics and fake currency.
“There is an ample scope for the trading of Industrial goods being manufactured by the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector through Cross-LoC trade… the MSME sector of our state is suffering due to location disadvantages and shallow market avenues as it is difficult to sell products in the neighbouring states as well as in the neighbouring countries,” General Secretary Bari Brahmana Industries Association (BBIA) Ajay Langer said after a meeting of the members here.
He said if an opportunity is provided to the unit holders to sell their products through cross-LoC trade, it would boost the confidence of the industrial unit holders and will also ensure overall economic development of the state.
Langer said the meeting appreciated the government’s decision to suspend the trade for the time being to revisit the present SOP to plug the loopholes as there was a great resentment among the industrial fraternity in the state over the non-inclusion of the majority of industrial products being manufactured locally in the previous business.
“As per the previous SOP, only those items were included for cross-LoC trade which were produced or manufactured in both parts of the state (Kashmir and Jammu) but the majority of the Items traded since 2008 till date were not produced or manufactured in the state which was a clear violation of the guidelines by the implementing agencies,” Langer said.
The Centre had said a stricter regulatory and enforcement mechanism is being worked and the issue of the reopening the trade routes will be revisited once they are implemented.
The trade was taking place four days a week on the barter system and zero-duty through two trade facilitation centres located at Salamabad in Uri sector of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district and Chakkan-da-Bagh in Poonch district of Jammu.
The suspension of the business has hit around 280 traders, who were directly involved in the trading, which has touched Rs 6,900 crore since its inception in 2008.
“India and Pakistan should take initiatives for holding buyer-seller meet of the stakeholders of Industries and trade of the state on regular basis to explore the market for the items manufactured and produced for cross-LoC trade and to resolve the issue like telecommunication facility and financial transactions through banks,” Langer said.
“We request Home Minister Rajnath Singh, and state Governor Satya Pal Malik to kindly intervene into the matter and issue necessary directions for the inclusion of all the industrial items being manufactured or produced within the state of Jammu and Kashmir while framing the revise SOP guidelines for the Cross-LoC Trade,” he said.
In a communication to union home ministry, JCCI president Rakesh Gupta requested for the resumption of the LoC-Trade at the earliest and fixing of responsibility for the “administrative lapses resulting in a breach of security and suspension of the trade”.
“We fully agree that security should be a prime concern not only of government but every Indian Citizen and that too in the trouble-torn state of Jammu and Kashmir. We would like to bring to your kind notice that stopping LoC-trade abruptly without intimating to the LoC traders poses a huge risk of financial loss to the traders,” Gupta said in his communication on Friday.
He said both the JCCI and LoC Traders federation have been requesting and demanding for a foolproof strict regulatory regime at the LOC trade points both in Jammu and Kashmir.
“These included installing full truck body scanners, putting in place the banking facilities, policy on registration on LoC traders and appointment of one man trade authority. It is most unfortunate that none of these demands has been met with resulting in the suspension of LOC Trade.