Dry fruit and spices traders in Amritsar are upbeat over resumption of business

The scene on the Indian side of the Attari-Wagah border near Amritsar. File   | Photo Credit: AKHILESH KUMAR

Traders in Amritsar are upbeat over resumption of business after Pakistan had recently allowed Afghanistan to send goods to India via the Attari-Wagah border under the Afghanistan–Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement.

“Movement of trucks through the Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Attari has been allowed and we are expecting the first consignment of goods, mostly dry fruits, in a day or two. At least nine trucks have left Afghanistan,” said Mr. Ashok Sethi, Director of the Confederation of International Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

Pakistan to allow Afghan exports to India through Wagah border

Pakistan and India had suspended trade through the border in March due to the pandemic.

Mr. Sethi said dry fruit and spices and other sectors that rely on trade with Afghanistan have already suffered a loss to the tune of not less than ₹45 crore, which includes trade loss, revenue loss at the ICP and staff salaries of clearing agents during the past around four months. Resumption of trade has come as a big relief to businessmen here amid the gloomy economic scenario,” he said.

“The local traders have already placed orders for dry fruits and fresh fruits and as soon as things are back on track we are expecting 8 to 10 truck loads of consignments daily from Afghanistan. With the festival season approaching, the sentiment is upbeat among the traders who are expecting a good demand.”

India-Pakistan trade freeze hits thousands: report

A senior official of the Land Port Authority of India (LPAI) posted at the ICP told The Hindu on Thursday, “So far no truck from Afghanistan has arrived but we are ready. Amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, we will be following the protocol notified by the Ministry of Home Affairs,” said the official,

Leading Amritsar-based clearing house agent Jaspal Singh said they are delighted.

“It’s a very significant development for us that at the advent of the festival season, the dry fruit and spices would available to our domestic customer,” said Mukesh Sidhwani, a prominent importer-exporter.

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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 4:05:04 AM |

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