Kashmiri traders await govt nod for visit to AJK

Srinagar, Nov 9: It has been more than a fortnight since trans-LoC trade began between two parts of Kashmir, but a traders’ delegation from this part has yet to visit to their counterparts across ...

Srinagar, Nov 9: It has been more than a fortnight since trans-LoC trade began between two parts of Kashmir, but a traders' delegation from this part has yet to visit to their counterparts across to assess the market. The traders here say even as their counterparts from AJK visited them over a month ago, "there is no word from the government as yet about sending the delegation from here to AJK."
  "I fail to understand why government is silent about sending a trade-delegation from Kashmir to AJK, though it has been over a month now since the AJK traders visited here," said Altaf Ahmad Tramboo, Executive Member, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).
  "The government has been verbally assuring us that it is making some plans to send the delegation from this part of Kashmir. But we have not so far received any specific information on it," he added.
 "It is very necessary for Kashmiri traders to visit AJK, so that they could sort out important trade matters with their counterparts there," he said.
 He said during the last fortnight since the trade has begun, several problems have cropped up that can be discussed and sorted out only through discussion with the traders across the LoC. "And, that is possible only when a trade delegation is allowed from this part," he said.
 Pointing some problems he said: "We come across many hurdles while buying and selling the goods coming from that part of Kashmir. Similarly we feel there is need for improving the quality of the certain items, etc. I believe, we could sort out all these problems only after discussing them with our counterparts in AJK," he said.       
  "We could have discussed such thing on telephone also, but since there is no telecommunication link between the two parts, hence it was necessary to discuss these things face-to-face," he added.
 Traders said it was also necessary that the traders from this part assess the market potential across the LoC.  "It is very important for us to go and see the market for our selves and the products that are in demand there," said a trader.
  "When we will visit there, then only can we decide what to buy and what not to. Till then it is only a fruitless exercise," said Javed Ahmad Bhat, partner Bashir Fruit Company Sopur and Executive Member, Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK).
  "Any trader who wants to apply for the visit shall be allowed for the same," he added.
 Traders said they have so far sent only fruits and vegetables across the border, "which are only two of the 21 items included in the list of tradable list."
 "The other 19 items must be given equal priority, which is not happening, neither from this side, nor from that. This has in a way confined the trade only to a few items," said Tramboo.

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