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Amritsar MP calls for resumption of Indo-Pakistani trade, writes to PM Modi-The New Indian Express

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NEW DELHI: Amritsar Congressman Gurjit Singh Aujla on Monday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to resume trade between India and Pakistan and other Central Asian countries and put in place a new more acceptable trade policy in the post-pandemic COVID world.

In a letter to the prime minister, Aujla said bilateral trade between India and Pakistan was languishing at around $ 2.5 billion a year while the potential, according to the World Bank, was $ 37 billion.

<< Therefore, in order to give a fresh start to agriculture and economic rejuvenation in the region, I beg your good office to consider opening diplomatic channels for the resumption of trade and also for a new more trade policy. acceptable in the post-pandemic world, ”he said in a letter.

The congressman pointed out that the border district of Amritsar suffered greatly from the imposition of 200% tariffs on imports from Pakistan in February 2019, the reckless cessation of trade in August 2019 by Islamabad, the COVID-19 pandemic and now, with the introduction of new agricultural laws.

He also called for considering making the Punjab the center of Indo-Pakistani relations, by strengthening trade routes that cross the state.

“This would allow agricultural products originating in the Indian Punjab to gain preferential access to the Pakistani market, thereby benefiting farmers in the Punjab,” said Aujla.

The direct impact of a disruption to border trade is most felt in Punjab, especially among the more than 20,000 families in Amritsar who depend on this trade, he said.

Aujla said the local economy in Amritsar suffered a loss of nearly Rs 30 crore earned each month through border trade.

He said that after the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor, the possibility of looking at bilateral relations from a different angle has arisen.

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