CM opens Salamabad Trade Facilitation Centre, interacts with traders

CM-30-2SALAMABAD : Interacting with traders after opening the Trade Facilitation Centre at Salamabad in Uri area of North Kashmir near LOC on Saturday, the Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah underlined the importance of tranquility on borders as key to the smooth operation of trade activities across LOC as also safeguarding the life and property of the people living in frontiers.
“Peaceful and conducive conditions on the borders give fillip to the trade activities as also enable farmers to carry on agriculture operations smoothly and without any fear”, he said and expressed the hope that the present peaceful situation will get further strengthened.
Underlining the cross LOC trade as an important Confidence Building Measures (CBM) between India and Pakistan, the Chief Minister said that more initiatives are required to ensure further growth of the trade across LOC. He also reiterated the need of converting the present Barter System of trade into the normal trade practices so that traders of both sides get benefits and trade activities flourish. He mentioned the need for telephone and banking facilities for traders and said that his government has already taken up these issues with the Government of India and will pursue these at the highest level.
The traders while presenting their memorandum to the Chief Minister demanded inclusion of milk and milk products, mineral water, canned trout fish, juices and jams, wheat and wheat products, sports items, Kashmiri willow, wazwan, marble and gypsum to be included in the export goods list and all type of pulses, oil seeds, feeds, leather and leather products, tea and coffee, all types of tyres and tubes, milk products, lubricants, hosiery and cosmetics goods, electric goods, textiles items, surgical items, fertilizers, food grains and spices, spare parts of automobile and poultry products in the import list of goods.
They also highlighted the need for speedy clearance of visits of traders of J&K by the POK authorities. They also demanded hotline communication between the officers related to trade and travel, issuance of visit permits for visit of traders on the analogy of permits being issued in favour of passengers, establishment of warehouse and cold-storage facility in district Baramulla, ISD facilities to telephones of office bearers of the trade union, banking facilities, etc.
The Chief Minister said that he will take up these issues with the concerned assuring the traders his and his government full support for strengthening of trade.
The Chief Minister was told that since the inception of trade across LOC as Salamabad was of the order of Pak Rupees 1620.35 crores in respect of import of goods from Pakistan while as the export recorded during this period has been of the order of Indian Rs.994.33 crores. As many as 14580 truck loads arrived here from other side of LOC and 21857 trucks carried trade goods from this side across LOC.
Under the Standing Operating Procedure put in place for smooth trade, 21 items have been permitted to be traded from Salamabad Uri to Chakoti and 21 from Chakoti to Salamabad Uri.
The construction of Trade Facilitation Centre involved an estimated cost of Rs.895.72 lakh and it has been executed by J&K SIDCO. The state government has provided 30 kanals of land for the complex and the central government provided the funds.
There are two cargo examination halls, parking yard, washroom block, weighing bridge, administrative block, water distribution system, trade facility post, drainage network, electric sub-station, x-ray scanner, etc in the Facilitation Centre besides other facilities.

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