Cross-LoC traders to settle accounts through authorities

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Sept 19: Few days after the meeting of Foreign Ministers and Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan at Islamabad and ahead of Commerce Secretary level talks between the two countries from tomorrow, the cross-LoC traders of two parts of divided State met at Zero Line at Chakan-Da-Bagh in Poonch district for more than three hours today and discussed a wide ranging of issues.
Civil and police administration officials from Poonch and Rawlakote in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) also attended the meeting. Director General of Trade, Pakistan joined the meeting for the first time.
Official sources said100 traders from Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) attended the meeting. Sixty two traders represented PoK while 38 traders joined the meeting from this side.
Sources said a significant decision was taken in the meeting pertaining to pending payments of the traders of both sides of the divided States. As per the decision unanimously reached in the meeting, the administration of both sides, dealing with the trade, was submitted documents of amount the traders had to take from each other.
The traders gave names of defaulters and the amount pending against them to the administration and authorized the officials to make them export goods of an equal amount.
“This was done to settle the pending accounts of the traders on both sides’’, sources said, adding that businessmen of both sides have agreed to the formula.
The officials of the administration dealing with cross-LoC trade on both sides also agreed to the demand of the traders. Worthwhile to mention here that traders of both sides had complained that some of the businessmen had turned defaulters on both sides and were not sending goods of equal amount.
According to sources, the traders might not have turned defaulters willfully but fluctuation of currency might have been one of the reasons behind it. Nevertheless, the presidents of Cross-LoC Traders Association from both sides, Pawan Anand and Hamad Raza submitted affidavits and documents from the traders of both sides to the administration in which they had pledged to settle their accounts within the next few days.
In another important decision, the Cross-LoC Traders decided not to hold meeting at Chakan-Da-Bagh in future unless proper place was provided by the administration of either side for the traders to sit and meet. Presently, the traders had to sit in open for the meeting.
The administration of two sides also met and decided that trade should be allowed on most of 21 items approved by the Governments of India and Pakistan. The DG Traders, Pakistan also assured full cooperation to the traders in expansion of trade facilities between the two sides.


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