In an attempt to balance security concerns and raise the level of trade across the Line of Control in J&K, the government has decided to install scanners to screen goods coming at the two trading points and introduce banking facilities to end the barter system.
The cabinet has given its “in principle” approval to a plan to scale up the infrastructure at Salamabad on Uri-Muzaffarabad road in Baramulla and Chakan-da-Bagh on Poonch-Rawalakot road in Poonch.
This will ensure smooth movement of goods and reduce the time taken for loading and uploading goods, especially perishable items. Goods worth Rs 272 crore have been traded so far.
Besides doubling the number of trade days to four, the commerce ministry has also been asked to firm up the manner in which banking facilities can replace the barter system.
“We can have a system of letter of credit by identifying a bank each on either side of the fence for making payments for the goods,” a government official said.
“Once the proposal is formalised, the ministry of external affairs will take up the matter with the Pakistani authorities,” another official said.