Truckers' conflict hits trade between India, Pakistan
The conflict between two truck operators' unions has adversely affected the Indo-Pak trade through the Attari-Wagah border. If no solution is reached, the import of goods from Pakistan may well be suspended in a day or two.Updated: Jul 06, 2011 00:56 IST
The conflict between two truck operators' unions has adversely affected the Indo-Pak trade through the Attari-Wagah border. If no solution is reached, the import of goods from Pakistan may well be suspended in a day or two.
While about 100 Indian trucks cross over to Pakistan everyday, around 40 trucks come from Pakistan on a daily basis.But for the past two days, no Indian truck has been lifting the goods although Pakistan has been sending its trucks as usual. As a result, storage rooms on the Indian side are packed to capacity.
Pakistan wanted to send 40 trucks to India on Monday, but since the goods already dispatched by it have not been lifted by India, the Indian authorities allowed only 11 trucks from Pakistan to cross the border.
Although the export of goods to Pakistan has not been affected, there is a disagreement between truckers regarding lifting of goods coming from Pakistan. The goods coming from Pakistan are piling up at the border and the porters who load the trucks are sitting idle.
RK Duggal, deputy commissioner of customs at the Attari border, said, "There are two truck operators' unions-the Amritsar Truck Union and the Attari Truck Union. They both want to lift all the goods coming from Pakistan to ensure their monopoly. We have received no written representation from them, but we have heard that both the unions want that their trucks should be allowed to lift goods coming from across the border."
But since the two unions are yet to arrive at a mutually acceptable solution, goods coming from Pakistan have not been lifted since Sunday afternoon and godowns on the Indian side are full. Duggal said that on Monday, they just allowed 11 trucks from Pakistan, which wanted to send 40 trucks. "When we don't have any space, where will we keep the goods? If the matter is not resolved, Pakistan may stop sending its trucks for the time-being," he said. Duggal said they cannot intervene, as it is not in their jurisdiction. "But if the issue is settled for the time-being, we will write to the administration for lasting solution," he said.
As many as 41 trucks came to India on Sunday, but no goods were lifted. India is exporting soybean to Pakistan, and receiving gypsum, dry dates and dry fruit from across.