Barter sys­tem in cross-LoC Kash­mir trade to go

Pakistan Observer - - KASHMIR -

JAMMU—The Jammu and Kash­mir gov­ern­ment on Wed­nes­day said it would soon do away with the barter sys­tem in the cross-bor­der busi­ness with Pak­istan and the trade would be con­ducted through proper trans­ac­tions af­ter an ap­proval from the Re­serve Bank of In­dia.

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Naeem Akhtar said this in a me­dia brief­ing af­ter a cabi­net meet­ing chaired by Chief Min­is­ter Me­hbooba Mufti.

The cross-bor­der trade with Pak­istan-ad­min­is­tered Kash­mir was al­lowed in Oc­to­ber 2008 as a ma­jor con­fi­dence build­ing mea­sure be­tween the parts of the state di­vided be­tween In­dia and Pak­istan. But the trade has so far been done through barter sys­tem with ex­change of goods and no money trans­ac­tion.

This, ac­cord­ing to traders, has led to a very low turnover of ex­change of goods worth Rs.3,700 in the last nearly eight years. The trade is con­ducted through the Jammu and Salam­abad-Chokoti in Kash­mir. place on the pat­tern of the Wa­gah bor­der in Pun­jab.

“Suchet­garh would fi­nally be­come the trade and travel win­dow be­tween the two coun­tries fa­cil­i­tat­ing the peo­ple liv­ing on the two sides of the in­ter­na­tional bor­der.”

He said the state gov­ern­ment wel­comed talks be­tween In­dia and Pak­istan for­eign sec­re­taries that is go­ing to have an im­pact on the peace process in the state.

“Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi has shown states­man­ship by re­sump­tion of the di­a­logue process at the for­eign sec­re­taries level af­ter the Pathankot at­tack.”

He said while the at­tack on the In­dian Air Force base in Pathankot, blamed on mil­i­tants who crossed over from the bor­der with Pak­istan, can­not be over­looked but the two coun­tries needed to work jointly “to pre­vent such a hap­pen­ing” in fu­ture.—GK

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