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Indian traders request restart of border trade with China, as Nepal and China start border trade this summer

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Indian traders request restart of border trade with China, as Nepal and China start border trade this summer


Pithoragarh, June 9

Indian traders, involved in the Indo-China border trade from Lipulekh pass since 1992, have requested the government of India to take up with their Chinese counterparts the issue of opening of the closed trade that was stopped due to Covid epidemic  2019, since China has opened all 14 trade passes with neighbouring Nepal.

“After an agreement with Nepal in December 2022, China has agreed to open all 14 trade passes along Sino-Nepal border. The implementation of the agreement started from May 25, this year when Piangi pass situated in Dolpa district of eastern Nepal was opened for trade on May 25, this year,” said Jeewan Singh Rongkali, president of Bharat Tibetan Seemant Vyapar Samiti at Darchula in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand.

According to Rongkali, the 3 passed along Nepal -Tibet border, in western region of Nepal that falls in the districts of Humla, Bajrang and Darchula will be opened on June 20, 30 and 25, respectively. “We have so far sent 22 applications to government of India requesting to take up the issue of restarting border trade but we have received no reply so far,” said Rongkali.

Indian tribal traders from Dharchula alone have left goods worth Rs 15 lakh at Taklakot Mart of Tibet at the time of closure of border trade in 2019, following Covid epedemic. “We have no information if our stored goods are safe or decayed as these were stored in plywood covers at the time of closure of the trade in 2019,” said Rongkali.

According to seasoned border trader, if it is not possible to continue the border trade with China, then the traders should be given 15 days permission to go there and take back their goods.” The goods of over 450 Indian tribal traders are lying there since last 5 years,” said Rongkali.

More than 450 Indian traders used to supply essential goods to villagers of over 45 villages of western Tibet through this trade since 1992.”Out of over Rs.1.5 crore trade annually, we have paid lakhs of rupees as custom duty and other taxes to the government,” said Rongkali.

The opening of Sino- Nepal border passes became possible after an agreement between the two governments. The agreement was signed by Dilang Nima, vice chairman of Tibet autonomous region of China and Narayan Kazi Shreshtha, Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal, on May 25 this year.”It was informed in a press note issued by ministry of foreign affairs, Government of Nepal on May 25, 2024, in Kathmandu,” said Rongkali.

China has announced in the year 2022 that it will built trans Himalayan multi dimensional connectivity with Nepal to restructure road and communication network with that country.”As China has not given permission to open our passes, along Indo- China border at Tibet, we apprehend the mart made for Indian traders in Gakkhu town of Taklakot, could be handed over to Nepalese traders,” said Rongkali.


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