25 September, 2020

Amritsar Faces Cost Of Distrust, Why 9,354 Families Feel Robbed

How political decisions by India and Pakistan have crippled a livelihood system based on cross-border business

Crossing A Line
A cotton-laden truck at the Attari-Wagah border en route to Pakistan
Prabhjot Singh Gill
Amritsar Faces Cost Of Distrust, Why 9,354 Families Feel Robbed
outlookindia.com
2020-08-08T11:41:08+05:30

Effects And The Affected

  • 9,354 families directly ­affected in Amritsar because of breadwinner’s dependence on bilateral trade
  • Nearly Rs 30 crore was being added to the local economy of Amritsar every month; the estimate is that two-thirds of it is lost
  • Loss to the tune of Rs 75 lakh every day

***

For over a decade, he had almost guaranteed employment at least once in two days. But today Michael, a porter at the Attari-Wagah border in Amritsar district of Punjab, has to fight every day to get work. The life of porters, traders, truckers and their whole ecosystem has come to a halt since August 9, 2019, when Pakistan suspended trade with India a few months after India hiked import tariffs on products from the neighbouring country to 200 per cent. With the loss of nearly Rs 30 crore that was being added to the local economy of Amritsar every month, lives, livelihood and a border trade economy have been crippled.

“Before the trade stopped, I...

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