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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Nathu La trade resumes after one year

August 25, 2009

The Statesman

GANGTOK, Aug 24 -- The Indo-China border trade
through Nathu La resumed today after remaining
closed since 1 August due to landslides along the
JN Marg, connecting Nathu La with Gangtok.

The road leading to Nathu La border was
completely washed off near the Mandakini falls
during the landslide. According to officials of
the state commerce and industries department, 17
Indian traders used the alternate route RN Marg
through Rongli in East District to reach Nathu La today.

It was also reported that 38 traders from the
Chinese side visited Nathu La today.

According to customs department reports, Indian
goods worth over Rs 10 lakh were exported in
August last year, while this August the volume
till date stood nil due to road closure.
Similarly, no transaction was reported for the
months of May and June this year.

The total exports for July this year is Rs 9.24
lakh, while last year the exports were Rs 7 Lakhs
in the corresponding period. The Indo-China
border trade between Sikkim and Tibet Autonomous
Region (TAR) takes place from May to 31 November every year.

It is also informed that the Sikkim government
has repeatedly approached the Centre for revision
of the list of tradable items.

As per the bilateral agreement in 2006 only 29
items can be exported to the TAR from the Indian
side while the Chinese traders can export only 15
items as per the prescribed scheduled items
allowed for the border trade. Traders from both
sides have been demanding the revision of
tradable items, saying that the present items
listed in the schedule are obsolete and do not have commercial value. SNS
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