JAMMU: Going tough on smuggling of banned items and narcotics through cross-LoC trade between two parts of the divided State, Governor NN Vohra today directed the Industries and Commerce Department to urgently undertake complete verification of all traders engaged in cross-LoC trade within one month and deregister the traders with doubtful antecedents.
The Governor issued these directions while presiding over a meeting to review issues related to cross-LoC trade, which is carried out on Uri-Muzaffarabad route in Kashmir and Poonch-Rawlakote route in Jammu.
The Governor’s directions assumed significance as the National Investigating Agency (NIA) has already registered a First Information Report (FIR) and was investigating routing of hawala money through the cross-LoC trade routes for funding terrorism and stone pelting in the Kashmir valley.
Vohra directed Director General of Police and Principal Secretary Industries and Commerce, Shailendra Kumar to urgently undertake complete verification of all traders engaged in cross-LoC trade within one month.
“The traders, who don’t furnish required documents or have doubtful antecedents should be de-registered without any delay,” the Governor said.
He further directed that the roster system should be made on-line and made public on the first day of every month. The Close Circuit Television Cameras (CCTVs) should be installed at both the Trading Centres within 60 days.
The Governor directed Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam to ensure that amendments are made in the required Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to ensure that no trader can transfer his turn to another trader.
Further, he said, the Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce will take urgent action to ensure that no registered trader has other persons/family members/firms unlawfully involved in the trade. He called for computerization of records of the trade and ensure that the traders compulsorily reconcile accounts with their counterparts every three months.
“The roster of movements should be finalized well in advance and publicized, a one-point screening of all trade vehicles be put in place and an effective mechanism enforced to detect smuggling of narcotics or banned items and system put in place to check undervaluation of goods,” the Governor said.
The undervaluation of goods was one of the major sources of routing hawala money through cross-LoC trade by some Pakistan based elements, who used the trade to fund terrorism and stone pelting.
The NIA has registered FIR in this connection and was investigating routing of hawala money through cross-LoC trade, which was reportedly pumped into the militancy.
The modus operandi was that PoK traders would send more goods to some traders than what they take. Since the trade is carried out on barter system, the goods are under-valued by the PoK traders, thus, benefiting some of the traders in Jammu and Kashmir, who were reported to have kept part of the extra money with them and handed over remaining to the militants and stone pelters, sources said, adding that this practice has mostly been observed in the Kashmir valley.
Shailendra Kumar gave a presentation and procedures of LoC trade, approved list of tradeable goods, process flow of trade, timeframe for installation of full truck body scanners, valuation mechanism and role of different Central and State agencies.
Advisors to Governor BB Vyas and Vijay Kumar, Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam, DGP Dr SP Vaid, Principal Secretary to Governor Umang Narula, Principal Secretary Home, RK Goyal, Shailendra Kumar and ADGP CID AG Mir attended the meeting.

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