The Indo-China border trade through the Lipulekh pass in this district begins tomorrow and traders are already rushing to the Dharchula trade office to get passes, which will allow them entry into the trading area on the Chinese side. The Centre has decided to extend the trade period through Lipulekh up to October 31 this year, instead of the earlier September 10, and it has added to the enthusiasm of the traders here. Traders had been demanding that the trading period be extended as business picks up after July, a trade association leader said.
We have received a letter from the commerce ministry extending the last day of the trade period from September 10 to October 31, said Raj Kumar Pandey, SDM, Dharchula, who is also the trade officer.
According to Pandey, the traders have come in big numbers to get passes from the office which are being issued from today.
“According to the rule, after a trader or helper gets the pass, he can move towards Lipulekh to cross over to the Tibetan territory of China. But in practice, most of the traders cross over to Tibet in the month of July because of the time required to collect the material, he said. Sources said that over 264 trade passes are available with the trade office at Dharchula. The traders’ organization said that they are happy with the decision to extend the trade.
“We have started collecting material from other markets of the country. The goods will be taken to Gunji mart to be stored there. From Gunji the traders will take the material to Tibet,” said Jiwan Singh Raunkali, president of the Bharat Tibet Vyapar Samiti at Dharchula.