Pakistan can consider importing vegetables, other edible items from India: Miftah Ismail
Federal Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said the government can consider importing vegetables and other edible items from India following the destruction of standing crops due to massive floods.
Miftah Ismail gave this statement in response to a question while holding a press conference in Islamabad.
The finance minister said that due to the shortage, prices of vegetables have increased significantly, and he has discussed the issue with the commerce secretary and the finance secretary and they will take the action plan to the Prime Minister in a day or two.
“We will open duty free imports, I also want to say that we will consider imports through land route with India as prices of vegetables are volatile,” he added.
Miftah Ismail said that he is generally in favor of farmers earning money and does not want to open imports, but this is an “exceptional situation” and trade with India can be revived if necessary.
The devastation of crops due to floods in Balochistan and Sindh has resulted in shortage of vegetables in Karachi taking prices to new heights as rate of tomato has gone up to Rs480 per kilo and onion price has reached up to Rs200kg in city markets.
According to a report, due to the recent rains and floods, onion and tomato prices increased by Rs60-90 and Rs110-150 per kg in the third week of this month.
A consumer told that per kg of tomato was being sold at Rs480 in a well-known super store in the vicinity of Gulshan-e-Iqbal.
Since July this year, due to heavy rains and floods in Balochistan and Sindh, crops have been destroyed and damage roads hit supplies in the market.
The prices of vegetables are expected to rise further in the coming days due to shortage of supply amid flood situation in both the provinces.
Retailers are also taking advantage of the situation by selling old stock at double the price.
The recent inflation has also affected the consumers who are worried about further increase in the prices of vegetables especially onions and tomatoes in the coming days.
Due to the increase in the prices of various daily items, many consumers have also reduced their daily purchases, in such a situation only potatoes are being sold at Rs50-60 per kg which is within the purchasing power of the people.