Indian farmers and truck drivers have been struggling to make ends meet since New Delhi raised duties on major Pakistani products by 200%.
The trading of goods between Pakistan and India has been halted since February 16 after the duty hike was imposed following the death of 40 Indian soldiers in Pulwama terror attack.
Around 300 trucks carrying cement, one of Pakistan’s major exports to India, have been stuck at the Wagah border. Shipments of 170 containers by sea came to a grinding halt too.
The Indian traders, however, want the government to listen to their demands too.
“Sixty-five trucks of cement, gypsum and dry dates, which were imported from Pakistan on February 16 are stranded at the Attari ICP,” a trader told the Hindustan Times. The consignment was planned and imported before the hiked duty. A cement bag from Pakistan costs ₹200; after the 200% duty, it will cost us ₹700. How can we afford this, he asked.
The Indian government should think about those who make their ends meet from the ICP. Around 1,500 workers work there. The government should arrange for their employment, said Pardeep Sehgal, the president of the Indo-Pak Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
ICP Truck Union President Palwinder Singh said that over 1,000 truck drivers haven’t been able to make ends meet since the duty hike.