Increase number of products traded through Attari-Wagah: Badal | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Increase number of products traded through Attari-Wagah: Badal

chandigarh Updated: Jun 19, 2014 17:32 IST
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Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on thursday said, the number of products traded with Pakistan through the Attari-Wagah border should be increased.

The issue was raised by Badal in his meeting with Union Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman here.

"Currently only 137 products are traded through Attari-Wagah border. There is a need to increase this number. Through Karach-Mumbai route, thousands of products are traded (between India and Pakistan)," Badal told reporters after the meeting.

He asked the minister to improve infrastructure at integrated check post by installing scanners and allowing trade through containers.

Pakistan had notified a negative list in 2012 whereby it allowed India to export all products to Pakistan, barring 1,209 items. However, Pakistan allowed import of only 137 items through the Attari-Wagah land route which was described as discrimination against Punjab by traders.

Local traders in Punjab have raised the matter both at the central as well as the state levels.

According to the estimates, the total volume of trade between India and Pakistan via Attari-Wagah land route is about Rs 2,500 crore.

The Punjab chief minister also asked the ministers to extend the Amritsar-Kolkata corridor till Amritsar border.

The Amritsar-Kolkata industrial corridor is patterned on the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial corridor. It will be spread across 20 cities in seven states -Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.

"Nirmala said that a team will be sent to Punjab to look into the matter," Badal informed.

Further, he also asked Sitharaman to look into extending concessions to the local industry in the state.

"Our industry is facing huge problem. The neighbouring states - Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are getting concessions because of which our industry is getting impacted,"Badal added.

On the centre's advise to state governments regarding crack down on hoarders and to enable freer supply of fruits and vegetables by delisting them from the APMC Act, Badal said his government would take steps in the interest of farmers and consumers.

When asked whether the government should take action against meat exporter Moin Qureshi, Badal said the government should "definitely" take action. Qureshi has been under the I-T department's scanner for several months now for alleged tax evasion with sleuths claiming that the turnover of his companies was 'under-reported'.

On demands for a separate Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee in Haryana, Badal said the demand is "illegal".

"We are going to meet the Home Minister and will ask them to stop Haryana government, it would lead to unrest if the proposal will be accepted," Badal added.