Cross LoC trade casualty of indifferences, apathy: KCCI

Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Saturday said that the cross-LoC trade, the people to people CBM between two Kashmirs has become a ‘casualty of indifferences and apathy’.

The order of suspension has been issued without taking into account the difficulties genuine traders would be facing, KCCI alleged.

It said no opportunity has been given to settle accounts and traders have been left with huge stocks, many of them perishable, which would be of no use. In addition, thousands of persons connected with the trade have been rendered jobless and in debt, a spokesperson of the KCCI said in a statement issued here.

“We objected to the defamatory campaign against and suspension of the Cross LOC Trade. It was unfortunate that the Cross LOC Trade which had been introduced as a Trade for Peace and was one of the most important CBM’s agreed to by the top leadership of both the Countries had become a casualty of indifference and apathy,” the spokesperson said. 

Over the years, no effective steps were taken to implement various suggestions given by stakeholders, he said.

“Demands aimed at bringing transparency to the trade including installation of a Full Body Scanner, Close Circuit Television Camera’s (CCTV’s), Banking Facility, Communication Infrastructure, re-verification of traders, regular rotation of officials posted at Trade Facilitation Centres etc have been ignored,” he said.

“The allegation that businessman Zahoor Ahmed Wattali was the president of LOC Traders Association is also unsubstantiated as per our knowledge. This has allowed the alleged flow of narcotics, fake currency and weapons into the State. In view of the serious nature of the allegations, responsibility needs to be fixed for the glaring lapses,” he added.