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KARACHI: Vice President and CEO of the Pakistan Businesses Forum (PBF) Ahmad Jawad has said that floods in Pakistan have not only destroyed crops but also disrupted the supply chain. The immediate effect has been seen in urban centres where vegetable and fruit prices have gone up manifold.

The government had allowed the import of tomatoes and onions from Afghanistan and Iran to meet a shortage in the domestic market. Imports from Iran were allowed for Balochistan, he further said.

Jawad says Indian vegetables could also be sourced from Dubai to improve the supply situation in the domestic market in case Islamabad did not allow direct trade from India; but that’s not cost-effective.

He said these crops were in abundance this season in India and could easily be exported to Pakistan through the Wagah border.

Pakistan could save foreign exchange by allowing direct import with lesser cost for the period of three months. He said the direct import of vegetables through Wagah would be cost-effective to help improve supply in the domestic market. The retail price after arriving will be not more than Rs 90 per kg.

He further said that global commodity prices have already come under inflationary pressure and with the supply chain disruption in the country, inflation may remain high for the next two months. However, the situation may improve in November, he added.

Similarly floods have damaged tube wells and other private infrastructure of farmers especially in Sindh while fertilizer prices remain high. Hence, farmers will struggle in sowing crops. This, in turn, may affect production.

According to sources, the process of importing the vegetable items would start from August 30, 2022 to ensure early availability of the commodities in the country.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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