Srinagar, Jan 14: Trade along the Line of Control (LoC) has shown a steep decline during 2017, with export and import falling by more than 50 and 31 per cent, respectively, compared to 2016.
As per the state government’s Economic Survey-2017, the state has exported 392500.33 quintals of goods valuing Rs 304 crore during previous.
The figure is nearly half of the quantity exported in 2016, which the survey reveals was 739034.47 quintals valuing Rs 527 crore.
Similarly, the import of goods too has shown decline during 2017, when 104949.70 quintals worth Rs 252.90 crore were imported compared to 330676.70 quintals valuing Rs858.17 crore in 2016.
In 2015, 1054410.77 quintals of goods worth Rs 634 crore were exported to Pakistan, followed by import of 586691.62 quintals valuing Rs 846 crore in the same year.
The survey revealed that 818001.71 quintals goods worth Rs 508 crore were exported to Pakistan in 2014, against which 337886.22 quintals valuing Rs 811.01 crore was imported to the state.
In 2013, 624607.15 quintals of goods were transported to Pakistan, against which 352946.78 quintals were imported to the state.
In 2012, and 2011, 768061.86 and 465272.41 quintals goods were exported to Pakistan against which 790245.70 and 368535.17 quintals were imported, respectively.
The LoC trade between Pakistan and India started in the year 2008 through Trade Facilitation Centers Salamabad, Uri and Chakkan-da-Bagh, Poonch posts.
Presently only 21 items are being traded along LoC including mostly agricultural, handicraft and handloom products.
Nearly 600 traders had registered themselves to trade along LoC in the beginning, which too has declined to nearly 70 traders.
The traders claim that the lack of infrastructure was the main reason behind the declining of the trade through LoC.
“We face immense problems due to the lack of facilities at facilitation centers. The state government earlier announced to do away with barter system by setting up banking facilities. But no such facility has come so far,” President, General Secretary Salamabad Cross LoC Trade Union, Hilal Turkey said.
The traders also said that the trade becomes the first causality at the time of tension between both the countries.
“We have seen that the routes have been closed frequently in the last many years. The government should keep it aloof from politics and try to flourish it by increased the bucket of tradable items,” another trader said.