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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014

Truckers, traders resolve issues in 'Indo-Pak trade's interest'

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Amritsar, April 25, 2013
First Published: 20:14 IST(25/4/2013) | Last Updated: 20:16 IST(25/4/2013)

Even as the strike by porters at the Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Attari near here entered the third day on Thursday and continued to hamper trade between India and Pakistan, traders and truckers sorted out some of the contentious issues so as not to hamper the smooth flow of goods between the two countries through the ICP.

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It was decided in a meeting chaired by the deputy commissioner Rajat Aggarwal on Thursday that the traders would be allowed to get trucks from any transporter in the country to load their goods for both imports and exports to Pakistan.

On the other hand, a solution to the porters strike seemed to be in sight as the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) officials acted as mediators to break the deadlock between traders and porters over the issue of increased wages.

The meeting between traders and truckers was held here during the day, chaired by Aggarwal. DIG (border range) Paramraj Singh Umranangal was also present.

After the meeting, the Confederation of International Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CICCI) expressed satisfaction over the meeting of the working group headed by the DC to resolve the logjam at the ICP due to traders-truckers problems.

A chamber spokesman Rajdeep Uppal said that it was decided at the meeting that the chit system followed by the truck union for loading goods would be immediately scrapped.

Proper computerised token system would be introduced at the ICP gate and all truck drivers would get their token after following the norms and the trucks would cross over on first- come-first-serve basis. No one would be allowed to deviate from this system.

Porters strike

Reacting to the ongoing porters strike, a leading importer of dry fruits, Anil Mehra, said that the issue of labour charges at the ICP needed to be sorted out at the earliest.

He claimed that following a meeting between CWC officials, porters and traders, it had been decided to observe status quo on the wages for porters. He claimed that till a final decision on the labour charges - which are being worked out - the existing charges would continue to be paid.

Meanwhile, it was felt at the meeting that a small working group of the chamber and other stakeholders should meet regularly to monitor the ICP working in consultation with the district administration, police, CWC, BSF, Customs and others to improve ICP functioning and take steps to strengthen business links with Pakistan.

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