- Punjab CM said he will soon write to the Centre urging it to open trade with neighbouring Pakistan
- Punjab is one of the four states to share border with Pakistan
- His statement came two days after Sidhu batted for opening of trade with Pak via Attari
Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi has demanded from the centre to start trade with neighbouring Pakistan. Channi said that he will soon write to the Centre to press for the opening of trade through the Attari border “to boost the state’s economy”.
Punjab is one of the four states to share border with Pakistan. Punjab shares 425 km long border with Pakistan's Punjab province.
"If trade can be carried by sea route with Pakistan, then why is it not permitted through land route as it would propel enormous opportunities of economic prosperity," Channi said in his address during the 15th edition of the Punjab International Trade Expo (PITEX) in Amritsar, organised by PHDCCI, on Monday. The CM said that he will also seek an appointment with Union Home Minister Amit Shah to press for the demand.
The CM's statement came two days after Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu batted for opening of trade with Pakistan through the Attari-Wagah land route.
Acceding to a major demand of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Amritsar, he announced that the foundation stone of a convention centre for trade exhibition over an area of 10 acres would be laid within this week to enable the organisation to carry out diverse range of activities to promote trade and industry in the region in a big way.
Meanwhile, former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, while commenting on the issue, said that the neighbouring nation should first stop killing Indian soldiers.
"First you stop shooting my soldiers then we will talk about trade," Amarinder Singh said when he was asked by a reporter in Chandigarh that Sidhu was batting for opening of trade with the neighbouring nation.
Channi also said a digital single window system would be put in place shortly to ensure all kinds of requisite permissions from a unified platform to industrialists in a seamless manner.
"This move will also enable them to apply for permissions from their homes to almost remove the user interface, with the officials, thus, increasing transparency," Channi said.
Listing achievements of his government, he said the state government has withdrawn 40,000 value-added tax related cases registered against traders, besides abolishing the institutional tax, doing away with the need to obtain change of land use in case of extension of factories and industrial areas etc.
"We are also planning to introduce curriculum in educational institutions in line with the demands of the industrial sector," added the chief minister.
Citing the huge potential of Amritsar in religious tourism, he expressed satisfaction that Punjab has been ranked number one in terms of infrastructure development in the tourism sector.
On the occasion, Punjab Congress chief Sidhu also underlined the significance of the cross-border trade.
Describing Amritsar as the biggest market of Asia, he said that it would open new vistas of prosperity for Punjab as trade and business activities would be carried out with 34 countries.
(with PTI inputs)