Border Trade in North East increasing new hope : Trade Between India and China Through Nathu La Pass (SIKKIM)

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Azadi Ka Amrit Mahoutsav

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Trade Between India and China Through Nathu La Pass (SIKKIM)

Once upon a time Silk Route was the main source of trade and business between two great nation of the world India & China.

Silk , Gold , Kasturi and many precious items was traded by the businessman of either side. Even in British India the tradition was continued for long. But situation changed when Indo-China Conflict leads to War.

But last decade situation has changed a lot and Nathula Became the main change point for the revival of the Silk Route again for meaningful business point.

Border trade between India and China through Nathula Pass has substantially improved ;Traders from Sikkim sold goods worth Rs 16.04 crore to the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) in the year 2014, according to a release from Commerce & Industries Department of Sikkim government .

The Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region is responsible for the matters relating to the planning, execution and monitoring of development schemes and projects in the North Eastern Region. Its vision is to accelerate the pace of socio-economic development of the Region so that it may enjoy growth parity with the rest of the country.

The traditional trade between India and China through Nathu La Pass in Sikkim commenced from 6.7.2006. Import and export of locally produced commodities by people living along both sides of Indo-China border as per prevailing customary practices are allowed.

Commodities allowed under border trade between India and China (at Nathu La Pass) notified vide Public Notice No. 5-ETC(PN)/92-97 dated 20.7.1992:

Items exempted from duty when imported into India from China through border trade:



1.   Goat Skin
2.   Sheep Skin
3.   Goats
4.   Horses
5.   Sheep
6.   Wool
7.   Raw Silk
8.   Yak Tail
9.   Yak hair
10.   China clay
11.   Borax
12.   Szaibelyite
13.   Butter
14.   Goat Cashmere
15.   Common Salt


Items freely exportable to China in border trade:


1.   Agricultural implements 16.   Tobacco
2.   Blankets 17.   Snuff
3.   Copper products 18.   Cigarette
4.   Clothes 19.   Canned food
5.   Textiles 20.   Agro-chemical
6.   Cycles 21.   Local herbs
7.   Coffee 22.   Dyes
8.   Tea 23.   Spices
9.   Barley 24.   Watches
10.   Rice 25.   Shoes
11.   Flour 26.   Kerosene Oil
12.   Dry fruit 27.   Stationery
13.   Dry and fresh vegetables 28.   Utensils
14.   Vegetables 29.   Wheat
15.   Gur and Misri


Click here for Department of Commerce Public Notice No.20(RE-2006)/2004-2009 dated 13.6.2006.

There is no duty on these 40 items unlike on the Indo-Myanmar border where 5% duty is levied. Other conditions of trade are as follows:

Border trade markets shall be open from 1st June to 30th September every year.

Border trade markets will be open from Monday to Thursday every week-four days in a week and from morning 7:30 am to afternoon 3:30 pm Indian time and 10 am to 6 pm Chinese time would be the timings for the border trade.

A permit fee of Rs.50 each will be levied for every vehicle entering Sikkim side from China. Similarly, a fee of 5 yuans (Rs. 5 equal to one Yuan) will be levied for every vehicle crossing over to the Chinese side upto the trade mart point at Renqinggang.


About Post Author

Editor Desk

Antara Tripathy M.Sc., B.Ed. by qualification and bring 15 years of media reporting experience.. Coverred many illustarted events like, G20, ICC,MCCI,British High Commission, Bangladesh etc. She took over from the founder Editor of IBG NEWS Suman Munshi (15/Mar/2012- 09/Aug/2018 and October 2020 to 13 June 2023).
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