Suspended for nearly 3 months, Indo-Afghan trade resumes via Wagah border
Over two months after the Centre suspended cross-border trade and movement of passengers through the Integrated Check Post (ICP), Attari, as a precautionary measure to check the spread of coronavirus, trade between India and Afghanistan resumed on Thursday.
“A truck of imported dry fruit from Afghanistan crossed over at the ICP, Attari,” said Amritsar Customs commissioner Dipak Kumar Gupta.
A senior official of Land Port Authority of India (LPAI) posted at the ICP said, “As soon as the truck entered the ICP, its driver’s thermal screening was conducted by a doctor that the Punjab health department had sent by maintaining social distance. Labourers have been provided with masks, gloves and sanitisers.”
LPAI’s ICP in-charge Sukhdev Singh said they had spray-painted white circles for the labourers to keep a distance of six feet between them. He added the staff have also been provided with masks, gloves, sanitisers and personal protective equipment (PPEs). “All advisories issued by the government are being issued,” he added.
The ICP witnesses an annual trade of over Rs 1,000 crore trade between India and Afghanistan. Federation of Karyana and Dry Fruit Association president Anil Mehra said, “We have come to know that several Indian traders have placed their orders for importing various items from Afghanistan. So, trade will definitely pick up in the next few days.”
He added that trade with Pakistan, suspended in the wake of the Pulwama attack in February 2019, also needed to be resumed.