Traders in Punjab ecstatic over Indo-Pak trade through trucks

November 14th, 2007 - 2:11 am ICT by admin  
The trade industry in the State believes that the trade will benefit both countries, and they should drop their inhibitions to facilitate the smooth flow of goods.

“I think both sides will benefit because Pakistan will be able to get goods and services at a cheaper price. In my interaction with the Lahore chamber of commerce, I had suggested them to allow import of those goods from India which they are importing from elsewhere,” said Gunbir Singh, Chairman of Amritsar Zonal Council of Confederation of Indian Industry.

Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal had flagged off the border trade through trucks between India and Pakistan on October 1.

Customs officers in the State said the setting up of hotlines between the two countries has enabled them to quickly sort out any bottlenecks in the passage of goods.

“Now, we have contacts and for sorting out small problems, we are able we are able to do it. And in case there is bottleneck of cargo, which is held up either on our side or on their side, we are able to discuss it out over a hotline and we are able to sort it out and extend the timings, extend the number of trucks moving and that way it is facilitating the trade a lot,” said Sanjay Sharn, Joint Commissioner of Customs in Amritsar.

Officials estimated bilateral trade between India and Pakistan at around 380 million dollars in 2004.

However, barriers to commerce cemented by more than half a century of hostility still forces companies into costly detours via third countries such as Afghanistan or the United Arab Emirates. (ANI)

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