Members of the Kirti Kisan Union today held a meeting at the Desh Bhagat Memorial Hall in the city demanding the opening of India-Pakistan trade route through the Attari-Wagah and Hussainiwala road corridors. A protest was also held in the city over the issue.
The farmers demanded that they should be allowed to conduct business directly through their passports by abolishing the visa requirements for their produce, among other categories. Calling the Central Government’s disallowing of export of basmati rice below 1200 dollars per tonne as anti-farmer, they also demanded that the condition be withdrawn immediately.
State vice-president of the Kirti Kisan Union Jatinder Singh Chhina and state leader Santokh Singh Sandhu said the country should move towards building friendly relations instead of fuelling the fire of enmity with its neighbours. India-Pakistan trade is an important link in building this relationship, they averred.
They said in 2019, the Indian government removed Pakistan from the list of trade-friendly countries and imposed 200 per cent regulatory duty on non-essential commodities, which not only destroyed the trade with Pakistan through the road corridor but also severely affected the interests of Punjab.
They said there was a trade of 1.35 billion dollars between India and Pakistan but most of it was being done through the sea route via Adani’s Mundra port (Gujarat).
The farmers alleged that step-motherly treatment was being meted out to Punjab to uphold the interests of corporate like Adani. The farmers also said the opening of India-Pakistan road corridors would provide employment to thousands of youth.
Hardeep Kaur Kotla, state convener of the women’s wing, said currently 80 per cent of the trade between the two countries was being done through sea routes or indirectly through Dubai, which was expensive.
Leaders of the Truck Union Phillaur, Goraya, Nurmahal leaders Ranjit Singh, Jaswant Singh, Surjit Singh, Satinder Singh Dhanju, Chamkaur Singh, Gurkanwal Singh, Tarpreet Singh Uppal, Doaba Sangharsh Committee’s Balwinder Malli Nangal, were among those who addressed the gathering.
Source: The Tribune