KARACHI - Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) President Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra, while expressing deep concern over illegal barter of dry coconut under cross-LoC trade between Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Indian Occupied Kashmir, has requested Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to take steps on war-footing basis in order to ensure that dry coconut remains delisted from the barter list so as to save the local traders from suffering severe losses.

In a letter issued to Federal Finance Minister, President KCCI stated that some of KCCI member firms have complained about misuse of cross-LoC trade between Azad Jammu & Kashmir and the Indian Occupied Kashmir which has brought businesses of dry coconut importers on the verge of complete collapse.

Seeking Finance Minister’s intervention, President KCCI mentioned that under the said cross-LoC trade, barter trade of goods being produced and manufactured in Azad Jammu & Kashmir and the Indian Occupied Kashmir only was allowed but nowadays, the terms and conditions of cross-LoC trade were grossly being violated as dry coconut, which was neither produced in Azad Kashmir nor in Indian Occupied Kashmir, was being bartered.

He pointed out that coconut being cultivated in Kerala was initially being transited to Indian Occupied Kashmir and then bartered with Azad Kashmir which was a clear violation of Cross LoC Trade as dry coconut was not present in the formal barter trade list. Later on, the bartered dry coconut ultimately lands in Rawalpindi which was being sold in various markets of Karachi and other cities across Pakistan, resulting in giving severe losses to legal importers whose business were on the verge of collapse.

President KCCI recalled that collective efforts made by the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2011-12 resulted in restricting illegal barter of dry coconut and this item was excluded from the barter list but it appears that unscrupulous elements have somehow succeeded in once again illegally bartering dry coconut and they were desperate to destroy the local traders in Pakistan.