India-China border trade through Lipulekh Pass gathers pace

 India-China border trade through Lipulekh Pass is gearing up gradually. Almost one and a half months into the trade, export of goods worth Rs 96,000 from India and import of goods worth Rs 1.45 lakh to India were recorded by mid-July. Traders told TOI that the pace of trade is expected to see an upswing in August. At present, 34 Indian traders (and helpers) are at Taklakot, the Chinese mandi (market), to conduct business. 

 

This year, the district administration had issued trade passes to 65 traders and 157 helpers. Currently, 13 traders and 21 helpers are staying at Taklalot to conduct business. While some traders are heading towards Talakot, others are returning to Gunji, the Indian mandi, from Taklakot, Varun Agarwal, assistant trade officer, India-China border trade, told TOI. 

 

Last year, business transactions worth over Rs 6.55 crore took place between India and China, of which imports by Indian traders stood at Rs 5.59 crore and exports by them stood at Rs 96.5 lakh. 

 

While Indian traders import readymade garments, shoes, raw wool and blanket, items like sugar candy, jiggery, cosmetic items and utensils are exported. 

 

Border trade between the two countries is conducted for five months from June to October at Taklakot market in western Tibet on the Chinese side and in Gunji on the Indian side. Indian government also sets up a temporary State Bank of India branch, a custom office and a police chowki in Gunji for the annual event. Notably, the traditional trade with erstwhile Tibet which was closed after the 1962 Sino-India border conflict was resumed in 1991.