Patiala, September 20
The Kirti Kisan Union held a district-level conference in Samana. During the conference, they demanded the opening of India-Pakistan trade through the Attari-Wagah and Hussainiwala road corridors. The union said farmers should be allowed to sell their produce directly on the basis of passports by abolishing the conditions of visas.
It also called for the central government to withdraw the condition of charging $1200 per tonne on the export of basmati. The Bharatiya Kisan Union, Naujawan Bharat Sabha, Sabzi Mandi Artiya Association, and Democratic Mulazam Federation were part of the conference.
Union State Press Secretary Raminder Singh said that the country should move towards building friendly relations instead of fueling the fire of enmity between India and Pakistan, and trade would serve as an important link for that.
The Union said the Centre government had removed Pakistan from the list of trade-friendly countries in 2019 and also imposed a 200% regulatory duty on non-essential goods. “Due to this, the trade with Pakistan through the road corridors of Punjab was not only destroyed, but also the interests of Punjab suffered a heavy blow. There is about USD 1.35 billion worth of trade between the two countries, but this trade is mostly through the sea route via private ports.”
The farmers also accused the BJP-led centre government of serving the interests of corporations and treating Punjab step-motherly. Union’s senior vice president, Harwinder Singh Gill, said, “India’s 80 percent of trade between the two countries is done through sea routes or indirectly through Dubai, which is very expensive. Direct trade through the Attari-Wagah and Hussainiwala road routes will not only be cheaper but will also be a source of new employment and economic prosperity for the farmers, traders, agricultural implement artisans, truck operators, and labourers of North India, especially Punjab.”
He added that this trade can act as a lifeblood for the distressed economy of Punjab. Therefore, the state government and the people should make vigorous efforts to open trade through road corridors.
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