Exempted earlier from taxation, the LoC traders claim that under the new Goods and Services Tax (GST), they now have to pay dual taxes.
The state government had exempted the Cross LoC trade like state’s indigenous businesses from any type of taxation to ensure maximum trade through the route as a part of Confidence Building Measure with Pakistan.
However, the implementation of GST is leaving the traders “discouraged”.
“We have taken up this issue with the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti recently and we hope our grievances will be addressed. Currently, tax is levied on both exporting as well as importing goods from Pakistan due to which the traders hesitate a lot to trade in huge quantity,” Salamabad Traders Union, General Secretary, Hilal Turkey said.
If these taxes are not revoked, Turkey said, the GST will have huge impact on the LoC trade in future.
Sources said that the state government has already aware of the impact of GST on the LoC trade.
The government, they say, has directed for working out modalities related to the taxation on LoC trade.
Commissioner Secretary, Industries and Commerce Department, Shailendra Kumar said that he will look into the issue.
Trade across the LoC was started in the year 2008 but it has so far been done through barter system with exchange of goods and no money transaction.
The traders claim that they are facing immense problems due to the lack of facilities at facilitation centers. The state government had earlier announced to do away with barter system by setting up banking facilities.
However, recently, the central government has put on hold the proposal for establishing banking facilities after the National Investigating Agency (NIA) earlier this year seized records related to it from the Trade Centre at Salamabad, Uri, Presently, only 21 items are being traded along Loc and the quantity of the goods has also declined from 50 trucks to mere 25 trucks per day.
Further, nearly 600 traders had registered to trade along LoC in the beginning, which too has declined to nearly 70 traders.
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