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India to propose to Pak to increase no of trading days

New Delhi: India has decided to propose to Pakistan to increase the number of trading days from two to four for cross-LoC commerce besides multiple entry permit for 6 months for people of Jammu and Kashmir as part of Confidence Building Measures.

The decision to make the proposal was taken at a high-level meeting convened by the Ministry of External Affairs here recently which was attended by officials from the Jammu and Kashmir Government and the Home Ministry.

It came ahead of the Indo-Pak Foreign Ministers meeting here later this month.

During the meeting, it was agreed upon to propose to Pakistan, the decisions taken by the Cabinet Committee on Security in September 2008, which includes increasing of trading ties from existing two days to four days, official sources said.

Cross-LoC trade on Poonch-Rawlakote and Salamabad-Chakoti routes is conducted every Tuesday and Wednesday on barter system.

The two sides are also expected to discuss the issue of multiple-entry permits for residents of Jammu and Kashmir valid for six months as the Cabinet Committee on Security has given an in-principle approval for the same in 2008.

The sources said these decisions were approved by the CCS in September 2008 but were kept in cold-storage after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

India may also press for introducing banking facilities for cross-LoC trade as the volume of trade and benefit to trading community on either sides of LoC could not be worked out through barter system, the sources said.

Pakistan has some reservations over opening up of banking facilities for traders.

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