Transporters” strike affects cross border trade with Pakistan

January 9th, 2009 - 1:45 pm ICT by ANI  

Wagah, Jan 9 (ANI): The ongoing transporters” strike affected the cross border trade with Pakistan, as goods worth thousands of rupees lie at Wagah in Punjab, waiting to be transported to Pakistan.
A large number of trucks are standing at Wagah loaded with perishable goods like vegetables, all waiting to be transported to Pakistan.
The truck movement between the two countries has reduced considerably.
Earlier the number of trucks plying between India and Pakistan was around 100 to 150, whereas now it is almost negligible.
“Earlier, there used to be around 100 to 150 trucks taking goods to other side. Today, there is almost no truck plying between two countries,” said Nishan Singh, a truck driver.
Truckers are on an indefinite strike since Monday demanding reduction of diesel prices and withdrawal of service tax on truckers.
The strike has also affected the livelihood of loaders employed in loading and unloading the goods from these trucks.
Due to the lack of truck movement, around 2,000 of these loaders are devoid of any work and struggling for sustenance.
“The loaders are suffering a lot. When the trucks do not ply we will not get work and how are we going to sustain our families. Around 2,000 loaders are there and all of them are suffering,” said Kripal Singh, a loader.
Border trade through trucks between the two countries was flagged off by Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal on October 1, 2007. Within the first two months of the commencement of the truck service between the countries, trade figures shot up, indicating a 300 to 400 per cent increase in business especially for Punjabi traders. (ANI)

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