Traders in Amritsar say Pakistan’s key poll issue will revive trade.Benefiting farmers and transporters


According to traders, resuming trade with Pakistan will not only boost Amritsar’s economy but also create more employment opportunities.

The local industry has made it clear to candidates of all major political parties that trade revival is necessary for the improvement and development of Amritsar.

Amritsar, along with 12 other assembly constituencies in Punjab, will go to polls in the final round of the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections on June 1.

“The government has to restart trade with Pakistan as there is no manufacturing industry in Amritsar,” said Rajdeep Uppal, an Amritsar-based businessman.

“The pillar of Amritsar’s economy is India-Pakistan trade, which has not only brought economic benefits but has also been the greatest confidence-building tool for peace in the region,” said former chairman of CII Amritsar Zone Council. Mr. Uppal said.

There has been no trade between India and Pakistan through the Attari-Wagah land route since 2019. However, imports from Afghanistan still continue through this route.

Following the Pulwama attack in February 2019, India imposed a 200% tariff on all products imported from Pakistan.

Pakistan suspended bilateral trade with India in August 2019 following the abrogation of Article 370 of the constitution, which granted special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The resumption of trade with Pakistan will create huge opportunities to work at integrated checkpoints in border areas, Uppal told PTI.

When there were no restrictions on trade, about 2,500 porters worked for jobs. Similarly, industry leaders said truck drivers once had the job of supplying imports and exports.

It is said that 500 trucks will be engaged in import and export operations every day.

India used to export vegetables such as potatoes, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, and spices, cotton yarn, soybean extract, dyes, and tires, and import dry fruits, cement, gypsum, and rock salt.

Traders pointed out that resuming trade with Pakistan would be beneficial not only for trade and industry but also for farmers as it would allow them to regain market.

“We talk about farmers. Pakistan was one of the biggest markets for our farmers. Potatoes, tomatoes, peas, all kinds of vegetables were once exported. If you don’t have enough vegetables. , we even imported it. Both consumers and farmers were satisfied,” Uppal said.

He argued that it is in everyone’s interest to restart trade, including traders, transporters, farmers and workers.

Another Amritsar-based exporter also advocated for revival of trade with Pakistan.

He said Amritsar is the only city with three gateways – rail, road and air connectivity.

“There is great potential for trade with Pakistan,” he said, adding that trade with Central Asia would also be possible through this route.

India and Pakistan started cross-border movement of trucks from India’s Attari checkpoint in Amritsar to Pakistan’s Wagah border in October 2007 after a gap of 60 years to boost bilateral trade had agreed to do so.

An integrated checkpoint was set up at the Attari-Wagah border in 2012 for smooth movement of traffic between India and Pakistan.

The BJP has fielded former US diplomat Taranjit Singh Sandhu, the Congress has nominated Gurjit Singh Aujla and the Shiromani Akali Dal has nominated former minister Anil Joshi as its candidate. The Aam Aadmi Party has fielded Kuldip Singh Dhaliwal. PTI CHS VSD RHL RHL

This report was auto-generated from PTI News Service. ThePrint is not responsible for its content.



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