Indo-Pak trade list at Attari has a new addition — sand imported from Pak

The ban on sand mining and its cascading effect of skyrocketing prices of sand in Punjab has added another dimension to trade between India and Pakistan through the Attari Integrated Check Post (ICP).

With Indian traders looking forward to Pakistan to import sand, in the last couple of days, consignments of sand have made their way to India from the neighbouring country.

Cement from Pakistan already sells like a hot cake in India, but this is for the first time that Indian traders have imported sand as well through the ICP. According to sources, some traders were also mulling to explore the possibilities of importing bricks from Pakistan, as the mining ban has hit the brick-kiln industry in Punjab equally hard.

"There has been an astronomical rise in the prices of sand after the ban. Earlier, the quantity of sand, which used to cost Rs 3,200, is now available for Rs 15,000 and that too with great difficulty," said Mukesh Mahajan of Jai Mata Di Enterprises that has imported sand from Pakistan.

While the exact difference in the cost of sand from Pakistan is being worked out after taking into account the duty, VAT and other taxes, Mahajan said sand from Pakistan will be cheaper. "My consignment reached today at Attari from Pakistan. We are already importing minerals from Pakistan. There is huge potential of sand import from Pakistan," said another trader, Rakesh Verma.

Sources said the consignments of sand are awaiting certain procedural clearance at the ICP before being handed over to the traders.

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