ISLAMABAD: Indian onions coming from Dubai and Afghanistan (via Chaman border) are being supplied illegally to local markets, traders told Business Recorder on Tuesday.
According to the traders, the bulk of the Indian onions being exported to Afghanistan is transported to Pakistani markets owing to high prices following the destruction of local crops by August-September 2022 devastating floods, which swept away standing crops on millions of acres.
Since August 2022, onion prices in the local markets have reached a record level of Rs250 per kg which usually in the winter season hovers around Rs40-50 per kg. Traders at a wholesale vegetable market told this correspondent that under Afghanistan India transit trade through Wagah border crossing most of the Indian products exported to Afghanistan are resend to Pakistan via the Chaman border and at present onions are the most valuable product. They further said that Indian onions are also being supplied in Pakistani markets through Dubai.
Traders said that in recent days, Afghan traders have imported a huge volume of onions, bulk of which has been supplied to Pakistani markets as a result within the past few days the wholesale price of the commodity has witnessed a reduction of 20 percent as it went down from Rs8,800 per 40kg to Rs7,200 per 40kg bag. Traders said that the onion prices will reduce further with the arrival of fresh crops from Punjab and Sindh and in March will normalise.
Mohammad Mushtaq Awan, a vegetable and fruit wholesale trader at Islamabad wholesale market said that had the government directly imported onions from India the commodity would have been available at around Rs100 per kg to local consumers instead of the current price of Rs250 per kg. He said that both India and Pakistan should not ban agricultural products as trade between the two countries is mutually beneficial.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023