AFTER RETURN FROM PAK: CICU joint secy reveals his study on trade prospects


Upkar Singh Ahuja (extreme right in front row), is seen among the delegates in Pakistan.

Ludhiana, November 15, 2012: Upkar Singh Ahuja, Joint Secretary, Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU), Ludhiana was among the leading 45 members trade and industrial delegation that under the leadership of Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal visited Pakistan recently.

During his visit, Ahuja conducted a study, a copy of which was released to City Air News here this evening. City Air News is publishing the study as under:

“Pakistan is expected to give the Most Favored Nation (MFN) status to India next month vide which their list of items to be traded through land route is likely to be increased from present 137 to 6,000 as is being done through the Ports of Mumbai and Karachi.  Both the countries need to give Wagha Border the Status of Full Port, which would serve as Economic Propeller for the Entire Region.  Trade route through Wagha Border need to turn into a Line of Prosperity for the two countries as increasing trade to central Asian Countries through Road Route, would be mutually beneficial.  There is an urgent need to open Husainiwala-and-Suleman Ki (Fazilka) Border to facilitate increased Trade and Commerce between the two countries.

India currently exports Fresh Vegetables, Soyabeans and other commodities to Pakistan while it sends Cement, Rock Salt, Gypsum and other items to India through Integrated Check Post (ICP) alongwith Attari-Wagha-Border.  Indian Rupee is presently valued at about 1.8 times of the Pakistani Rupee.  

Movement of Goods between India and Pakistan should be allowed through containers rather than trucks, which is more efficient mode of transport, less costly and saves loading and unloading time.

Textiles Industry set up is in large in Pakistan and it constitutes more than 70% export of the country.  Whereas Textile Industry in India uses Best Manufacturing Practices and very well developed.  We should explore the possibilities of Joint Venture to excel in the competitive goods in this sector. The Textile Industry which has great potential for employment generation for both Punjabs, should join hands and supplement each other’s strength.

The proposal to set up Joint Industrial Zones in both Punjabs where entrepreneurs from across the fence would be able to set up Industries and their Units which to be treated at par with local Industry, will be very successful venture which can turn a great opportunity for both the countries.

Indian Industry is more advanced than in Pakistan which can lead to Joint Ventures and Technical Tie Ups in the open market era.  Indian Automobile Industry uses EURO 4 Emission Norms whereas EURO 2 Norms are applicable in Pakistan.

Central Government is urged to set up Visa Consulate in Amritstar/Wagha Border to facilitate and smoothen travel by traders.  India has already set up Rs.150 crore State of the Art Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Atari to meet the growing volume of Trade & Passenger Traffic between both the countries.  There is need to provide better infrastructure at the ICP in Pakistan to hasten clearance and movement of goods.  Proper coordination on either side of the Border is the need of the hour.

Joint Business Committee constituted having 10 Members from both Punjabs is going to be a game changer and will give a boost to commerce and industrial ties.

Open Market would pave the way to strengthen and promote bi-lateral trade.  This development will give major boost to Punjab Industry especially; Auto and Auto Parts, Bicycles & Bicycle’s Parts, Farm Machinery, Textile and Garments.  This will provide sustainable business to Punjab as it is close to Pakistan and freight cost is less.

Thursday, November 15, 2012