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Pakistan

Imports from India: decision to be taken after evaluating supply situation, says Miftah

  • Says more than one international agency has approached government to allow them to bring food items from India through the land border
Published August 31, 2022
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Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Miftah Ismail on Wednesday said that a decision to allow the import of food items from India would be taken after evaluating the supply position and consulting with coalition partners and key stakeholders.

Taking to social media, Miftah said more than one international agency has approached the government to allow them to bring food items from India through the land border.

“The government will take the decision to allow imports or not based on supply shortage position, after consulting its coalition partners and key stakeholders,” he said.

The development comes after floods caused by record-breaking torrential rains have devastated the north and south of the country, affecting over 33 million while causing large-scale infrastructural damage.

On Monday, the finance minister said Pakistan will consider importing vegetables from India to mitigate floods fallout.

"We can consider importing vegetables from India," Miftah told local media.

Turkey and Iran could also be other options, he added.

Pakistan’s agriculture sector has faced the major brunt of the natural calamity, as food prices have risen significantly in many parts of the country. For instance, tomatoes are being sold for Rs400-500 per kg while onions are available at Rs150-200 per kg.

Earlier, the Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Importers Exporters Merchants Association (PFVA) on Monday called for the immediate abolition of duties and taxes on the import of onions and tomatoes in Pakistan, while calling for restarting trade with India.

“To meet the demand of onion and tomatoes in the country, we have to initiate import from India,” PFVA Patron-in-Chief Waheed Ahmad had told Business Recorder.

Pakistan expects a hit of $10 billion to the economy due to flooding, said Miftah.

Being an agricultural country, Pakistan heavily relies on monsoon rains for its crops and to replenish lakes and dams, but it can also bring destruction. Moreover, the flooding could not have come at a worse time for Pakistan, where the economy remains engulfed in rising inflation and depleting forex reserves.

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