Kartarpur corridor: India urges 'financially desperate' Pakistan not to levy $20 service fee

Kartarpur corridor: India urges 'financially desperate' Pakistan not to levy $20 service fee

Highlights

  • Pakistan has said it would charge pilgrims a service fee of roughly Rs 1420 from all devotees who want to visit Kartarpur Sahib
  • In a statement on Thursday, MEA spokesperson said “We have urged Pakistan not to do so in the interests of devotees, and because this is a P2P initiative

A pilgrim service fee of $20 (Rs 1420) by Pakistan for visitors to Kartarpur Sahib could be the deal-breaker for India. India has asked Pakistan to waive the fee before it agrees to sign the agreement.

In a statement on Thursday, MEA spokesperson said “We have urged Pakistan not to do so in the interests of devotees, and because this is a P2P initiative. We hope that the Agreement can be concluded and signed in time for the great event."
Pakistan has said it would charge pilgrims a service fee of roughly Rs 1420 from all devotees who want to visit Kartarpur Sahib, for which India is close to completing elaborate preparations. "The Kartarpur Sahib Corridor is an important people to people initiative taken by India to commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji.”

The MOU is expected to be finalized on October 19, that is, on Saturday. Applicants have been encouraged to register from 20th. Indian officials have said the construction of the facilities including a pre-fabricated passenger terminal would be completed by October 31.

Indian and Pakistani officials have held several rounds of negotiations on the corridor. The spokesperson said, “After several rounds of discussion with Pakistan, we have reached an agreement on all other issues, except the matter of Service Fee. Pakistan insists on levying a fee of $20 (approx. Rs. 1420) on all pilgrims.”

TNN

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