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Kartarpur Corridor: India 'constrained' to accept 'rigid' Pakistan's $20 levy; agreement to be signed Wednesday 

File photo: Katarpur corridor Photograph:( WION )

WION New Delhi/Islamabad Oct 21, 2019, 06.18 PM (IST) Written By: Anas Mallick , Sidhant Sibal

India on Monday said that it's "constrained" to accept $20 service fee proposed by Islamabad for using the Kartarpur corridor after Pakistan remained "adamant" on the levy. 

The Kartarpur agreement will be signed both sides on Wednesday at the zero points at the Dera Baba Nanak.

Ahead of the signing, the Ministry of External Affairs said, "While agreeing to sign the agreement, the Government of Pakistan (GoP) has been once again urged to reconsider its insistence to levy service fee on pilgrims. India would be ready to amend the Agreement accordingly at any time."

Expressing "disappointment", New Delhi said, "Government has consistently urged Pakistan that in deference to the wishes of the pilgrims, it should not levy such a fee."

This is the second time in a week, India has asked Pakistan to drop its $20 fee proposal as the project is people to people project but Pakistan has been "rigid and inflexible in its unreasonable demand". 

Even a month after the proposal was first given, Pakistan refused to budge. Islamabad says it will levy a $20 fee to cover the operational cost of the corridor. 

Meanwhile, India and Pakistan exchanged mock data of pilgrims ahead of the opening of the corridor at 2 pm IST at zero points. 

PM Modi will be inaugurating Indian side of the corridor on November 8 while Pakistan will be inaugurating its side of the corridor on November 9. No visa will be required by pilgrims but they have to carry the passport.

Both sides had agreed last year to open the corridor to the Kartarpur located in Pakistan, just a few kilometres from the International border, on the occasion of the 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev. 

Kartarpur Gurudwara has a huge significance in Sikhism since the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev Ji spent the last 18 years of his life in the area where the Gurudwara stands now.