Bansal favours commercial rail movement between India, Pakistan

Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on Thursday favoured rail-based container movement between India and Pakistan to reduce transaction cost and ease road traffic.

“Trade facilitation measure such as development of integrated check posts will give a boost to bilateral trade between India and Pakistan through land route. One other step to give further fillip to bilateral trade could be introduction of containerization,” Bansal said in a conference.

He suggested that normalization of trade flows between the countries would be the best way forward.

“Going forward, engaging with each other is the only way out for both countries and they need to find peaceful and productive ways of doing so and this one of the best ways forward would be normalization of trade flows between India and Pakistan.

“Bilateral trade relations are now at a point where significant economic gains could serve as powerful means for conflict resolution,” he said.

Coming back to railway, he said the national transporter has an important role to play to boost trade between the both countries.

“Rail-based movement of containers across the boundary will not only ease road traffic, but also help trade in offering door-to-door service to its customers, who would also help in cutting down the transaction cost,” he stressed.

“Presently there are two points where rail link is established – Attari and Munnabao. There is potential of starting the containerization movement. We can negotiate to take forward the containerization.

“We can also work together to develop technology solutions in railway sector for our common needs,” Bansal said, adding “as a long term strategy for developing our economies, both India and Pakistan have agreed to be part of UN project of Trans-Asia Railway Network.”


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