-  Tuesday 29 September 2020

    Trade through Tatopani comes to a grinding halt

    KATHMANDU, Jan 10 - As a protest to the enforcement of card system for entering Khasa, a trading hub on the Tibetan side of the Chinese border, business associations have halted trade through the northern customs point of Tatopani from Tuesday.

    The government had enforced the card system for residents of 15 districts of the country to enter Khasa from January 1, 2006. Under the system, Nepalis residing in districts excluded from the list of 15 districts need to acquire visa to enter Chinese territory.

    The majority of drivers, conductors and even traders involved in trade with the northern neighbor, however, hail from outside the designated districts. Citing that the latest entry system has kept them from entering China, they brought transactions through the border to a grinding halt.

    Ten business and workers associations including Nepal Trans-Himalayan Trade Association, Sindhupalchowk Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nepal Truck Containers Association and Truck Workers Organization jointly launched the protest.

    The traders have demanded the government to issue entry card to businessmen and workers involved in the cross-border trade, even if they did not hail from the 15 enlisted districts.

    Previously, Nepalis were allowed to enter Chinese territory just on the basis of a temporary letter issued by the Tatopani immigration office. "The latest system has not only created hassles to trade, but also deprived us our right to earn a livelihood," said an office bearer of the Container Association.

    "How can workers earning just a few thousand rupees produce visas now and again to work across the border?" said Ram Hari Thapa, president of the association.

    The traders and workers involved in the trade had issued a memorandum to the government a week back to revoke the system. "However, as the government turned a deaf ear to our request, we are forced to resort to stronger measures," said an office bearer of Nepal Trans-Himalayan Traders Association.



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