LADAKH: A parliamentary committee has recommended that the administration of Ladakh and Department of Commerce, Government of India should make all out efforts to identify prospects of trade synergies with the major global trade destinations and establish trade linkages by conducting promotional events, fairs, etc.
In its report, the department-related parliamentary standing committee on commerce has recommended that a specific export policy should be devised for the Union Territory of Ladakh in order to make it an attractive destination in global markets.
“The Committee is of the view that strategizing the Union Territory of Ladakh as a crucial region for export promotion is the need of the hour. Optimal harnessing of the export potential of Ladakh requires several initiatives such as promoting production of export oriented commodities, encouraging value-added processing, quality and organic certified production, ensuring inter and intra state linkages and connectivity of Ladakh with other ports/ airports in the country, identification and development of trade junctions in the region, establishing dry ports, etc. It, therefore, recommends that a specific export policy should be devised for the Union Territory of Ladakh in order to make it an attractive destination in global markets,” reads the report.
The panel also recommended that necessary action may be undertaken by the government to notify the airport of Leh as a ‘Custom Airport’ under Section 7 (1) (a) of the Customs Act, 1962, which, it said, would play a crucial role in boosting exports from Ladakh by ensuring hassle free and rapid transit of cargo goods via airlines.
“While interacting with the officials of Customs Department at Leh, the Committee was informed that presently the Leh airport is not designated as ‘Customs Station’ as per the provision of Section 7 (1) (a) of the Customs Act, 1962. As a result, the exporters have to trade their goods from other custom stations or ports of the country leading to increase in dwell time and high cost of operations. It was further apprised that under Section 7 (1) (a) of the Act, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) may appoint ports and airports as custom ports or custom airports for the unloading of imported goods and the loading of export goods or any class of such goods, “the report states—(KNO)