Trouble looms at ICP as traders up in arms
Operational after a long wait, the integrated check-post (ICP) at the Indo-Pak border is facing trouble already with traders deciding to stop the import of gypsum from Pakistan in protest against the high handling charges and threatening to suspend all trading activities by Friday if the rates are not brought down.punjab Updated: Apr 23, 2012 21:49 IST
Operational after a long wait, the integrated check-post (ICP) at the Indo-Pak border is facing trouble already with traders deciding to stop the import of gypsum from Pakistan in protest against the high handling charges and threatening to suspend all trading activities by Friday if the rates are not brought down.
Various importers and exporters held a meeting under the banner of the Confederation of International Chamber of Commerce and Industries on Monday and decided that the import of gypsum would be stopped once the trucks loaded with gypsum on the Pakistan side are cleared.
Ever since the ICP became operational, traders have been objecting to the high handling charges imposed by the authorities running the ICP, including the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) and the Land Port Authority of India.
During the meeting, the exporters and importers stressed that the rates charged by the CWC from traders were too high. "We have already held a couple of meetings with them, but the issue is yet to be resolved. We have conveyed our displeasure over the rates and decided to stop the import of gypsum. If the matter is not resolved by Friday, we will discontinue all trading activities," said a spokesperson of the Chamber.
"We are being charged Rs 3 per tonne as storage charges for the gypsum imported from Pakistan. They have no facility to store gypsum, which is dumped in an open ground," the spokesperson said.
Sensing serious trouble, local traders are contacting Delhi-based importers and exporters and urging them to exert pressure on the agencies operating the ICP to bring down the charges. The traders will again hold a meeting on Tuesday.
'Government must intervene'
Joining the issue, Suneet Kochhar, director of Khanna Paper Mills, said the Central Warehousing Corporation should bring down its rates, considering that the ICP could push the volume of trade between the two countries in a big way. "The ICP has great potential and all issues which are affecting its smooth functioning should be resolved," he said.
Demanding the intervention of the government, Kochhar said, "If the tariff is reduced, more trade will take place through the Attari-Wagah route."