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Nathu La reopening for border trade with China on May 1news
30 April 2007

Mumbai: The Nathu La pass in East Sikkim on the Indo-China border will reopen for trade on 1 May, a month earlier than scheduled.

As per the original schedule announced last year, trading between the two neighbours through the Himalayan pass was to start on 1 June and go on till 30 September.

However, a fax message from the union ministry of commerce and industries said the period of trading through the route has been extended by three months beginning 1 May and ending on 30 November, district collector Vishal Chauhan said before leaving for the Nathu La border outpost to assess the preparations for the second season of trading.

The decision to advance and extend the period of trading follows a series of high-level meetings held in New Delhi.

Extension of the period of trading through the route had been one of the major demands of the local trade bodies, including the Sikkim Chamber of Commerce, ever since its opening in July last year.

The external affairs ministry has confirmed that the Chinese side has communicated its acceptance of the proposed extension of the trading season, the letter said. All field organisations, including security agencies, have been suitably informed, the Union ministry said.

However, the government has left decisions on proposal to raise the amount of business transaction from the present Rs25,000 to Rs1 lakh per day per trader pending. The other important proposals pending with the centre are inclusion of additional items in the list of goods for import and export and the extension of trading time during the day.

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Nathu La reopening for border trade with China on May 1