It will promote trade across LoC: Minister

For the first time in the last 20 years, Jammu and Kashmir will have direct trunk dialling facility with Pakistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir (Pok), State Finance Minister Abdur Rahim Rather said in the Legislative Assembly on Friday.

Presenting the annual budget for 2010-11, the Minister deliberated on the government steps to boost trade. “A new trade policy is under formulation for which a committee stands constituted involving all officers concerned and representatives of trade and commerce.”

“Special phone lines have been authorised for reliable communication for trade.” Five landline booths would be set up and one would be able to make calls to Pakistan.

The Minister told The Hindu that all aspects, including security were taken into consideration. “This will be a major confidence building measure to narrow down the gaps in communication.”