Author:Altaf Hussain Kira
Title:Cross-LoC trade in Kashmir: From Line of Control to Line of Commerce
The initiation of Cross-Line of Control (LoC) trade across Jammu and Kashmir in October 2008 signaled the beginning of a new era. It was 61 years ago in 1947 that trade across line of control had stopped. The initiative has received support from business community since its start despite numerous impediments including barter exchange of goods, lack of communication, no banking channels, deficient legal contract enforcement, limit on tradable goods, structural difficulties in free movement and other barriers. This study examines how business entities and individuals in Jammu and Kashmir view trade transactions with the other side and perceptions about the economic viability of Cross-LoC trade. More specifically the paper presents primary data obtained from various stakeholders mainly the businessmen who trade on Uri-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalakote routes (The two transitory points from where the present Cross-Loc trade takes place). The study reveals that trade has increased significantly and trade in agriculture commodities has shown a robust growth, while handicrafts sector that constitutes backbone of the region’s economy has not performed up to expectations.