May 3, 2009
Gangtok (Sikkim), May 3 (ANI) -- The fourth edition of the annual Sino-Indian border trade at Nathu La, one of the three trading border posts between China and India, will resume on Monday after a six-month long winter break.
Apart Nathu La, the other two border trade check posts are Shipkila in Himachal Pradesh and Lipulekh (or Lipulech) in Uttarakhand.
Sealed by India after the 1962 Sino-Indian War, Nathu La was re-opened in 2006 following numerous bilateral trade agreements.
Currently, agreements between the two nations limit trade across the pass to 29 types of goods from India and 15 from the Chinese side.
The annual border trade is restricted for participation of the traders from Sikkim and Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) only.
Under the bilateral agreement, the Indian traders visit Renguingang mart in TAR to buy goods from there, while their counterparts from across the border come to Sherathang Mart in Sikkim for trading purpose.
The traders of the two countries are issued Import-Export Code Number (IEC) and security passes by their respective authorities to enable them to visit the trade marts.
In spite of various restrictions put on for trading through Nathu La, the total value of the traded goods last year stood at Rs.9.6 million.
The Government of Sikkim will organize a function at Sherathang Mart on Monday to mark the formal inauguration of the fourth edition of the bilateral border trade.
Official delegations and traders of the two countries will attend the function.
The Sikkim Chamber of Commerce and the Indo-Chinese Traders Association of Sikkim (ICTAS) have urged the governments of the two countries for an urgent revision of the goods on the trade list to add commercial value to the business.
Most of the items listed in the schedule are obsolete and lack commercial value.
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