JAMMU, Jan 20: The members of Joint Chamber of Cross LoC Traders, heads of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) and Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industries (JCCI) are meeting at Bangkok (Thailand) on January 26 and 27.
The purpose of this meeting is to exert pressure by the Joint Chamber members on their respective Governments to help in further strengthening cross-LoC trade, ensure expansion in the list of tradable items, mediate for resolving old trade related disputes on both sides and facilitate regular meetings of cross-LoC traders.
This will be third annual joint meeting of the traders from both the sides of divided Jammu and Kashmir at a neutral venue during last three years. The first meeting of Joint Chamber was held at Dubai while the second one was organised at Singapore last year.
A Jammu Chamber spokesman told the Excelsior that president of Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Rakesh Gupta has been invited to the Joint Chambers meeting being held in Thailand this month. He further disclosed that former president of the Joint Chamber (J&K/PoK), Y V Sharma and another from Kashmir besides third from Pak occupied Kashmir have also been invited to the Bangkok meet.
The spokesman further disclosed that president Azad Jammu Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Murtaza Choudhary, president Cross LoC Traders Association Poonch, Pawan Anand besides the heads of Mirpur Chamber of Trade and Industry and Muzaffarabad Chamber of Commerce (PoK) will also be attending this crucial meeting.
The JCCI spokesman said that the proposed meeting is going to be held on January 25-26 where the representatives of cross LoC traders’ organizations will thoroughly discuss their issues and problems being faced by the trading community members on both the sides.
They will also discuss joint strategy with regard to exerting pressure on the Governments of their respective countries to facilitate them and strengthen cross LoC trade. He said in case of cease-fire violations and firing along the LoC many times, the cross LoC trade points on Poonch-Rawlakote Road (Chakkan-Da-Bagh) and Uri- Muzaffarabad Road (Kaman Post) are closed.
With this, the loaded trucks remain stranded many times for days together at Uri and Poonch. And the perishable goods like bananas and other items get destroyed, causing huge losses to the traders. There is urgent need to work out a solution for such situations and involve the Governments of both the sides to encourage trade and work out a reasonable solution.
Javed Ahmed Tenga, president Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that about 10 to 12 traders from this part of the J&K and nearly the same number from PoK will be meeting at Bangkok. He disclosed former president of Joint Chamber from Kashmir region Mobeen Shah will also be the part of delegation besides another one from Jammu, YV Sharma.
The team from J&K will leave on January 24 and return on January 28, 2018. Basically, it is two day workshop of the traders on both sides of the Jammu and Kashmir involved in the cross LoC trade. They are facing lot of problems. The purpose is to strengthen the cross LoC trade and work out solutions to these problems.
Tenga said during shelling the trade is suspended for days and weeks together and the traders face lot of hardships. Uncertainty prevails over the trade activity under such circumstances. Huge money of the traders on both the sides is involved and they need support and strong assurance/ protection from their respective Governments. Such issues will be deliberated upon thoroughly during the two- day workshop. The venue of next meeting will also be decided there and another neutral venue will be selected for the meeting, KCCI president maintained.