Pithoragarh, September 28
Indian traders doing business with their Tibetan counterparts under the Indo-China border trade at Taklakot Mart in the Chinese territory have complained that their earnings are being affected due to a sudden increase in the value of Chinese currency, yuan, against rupee. They are getting less in rupee term for the goods supplied to the Tibetan traders and have to pay more in yuan for goods imported from there.
According to sources in a Dharchula-based organisation of Indian traders involved in the border trade for the last 20 years, they have to pay to the Tibetan traders Rs 9.5 in exchange for a yuan this year which was about Rs 5 per yuan last year. Due to strengthening of yuan against rupee, the Indian traders, who were expecting profits similar to last year, were now compelled to pay more to the Tibetan traders for goods imported,” said Jeewan Singh Ronkali, a trader. Pramod Kumar, trade officer and SDM of Dharchula, said the Indian traders would not lose much as most of the trade was done on the barter system. “The Indian traders will have to opt for barter trade rather than for currency exchange,” he said.
Pramod said the money exchange was done unofficially. The official trade was based on the barter system. Till date the Indian traders had imported goods worth Rs 38.50 lakh only this year while they had sold goods worth Rs 67.93 lakh.
The trade began in 1992 after the Indian government decided to improve the economic condition of the tribals of the border area who were dependent on raw material brought from Tibet for their traditional crafts. India opened the trade with China’s help to benefit the tribal people of the district living near the border. Since then the Indian tribals had been importing wool from Tibet for their traditional handicrafts in exchange of daily need goods, Ronkali said. 

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