Decision to import food items from India after consultation: Miftah Ismail


Finance Minister Miftah Ismail.

ISLAMABAD: The federal government will take a decision to import food items from India after consulting its coalition partners and key stakeholders, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said Wednesday.

The country is facing a shortage of vegetables and other food items after devastating floods destroyed crops, increasing their prices to unimaginable levels.

The traders have also demanded the government allow imports from Wagah Border to address the shortage issue.

However, in the meantime, the Ministry of Commerce on Tuesday decided to import onions and tomatoes from Afghanistan and Iran to control soaring prices in the country.

The finance minister took to Twitter a day after Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s statement that Pakistan will not allow import, saying the two sides needed to talk about the human rights situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir.

MIftah Ismail said that more than one international agency has approached the government to allow them to bring food items from India through the land border.

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

On Tuesday, the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) urged the government to permit vegetable import from India through the Wagah border.

Talking to Geo News, LCCI President Nauman Kabir requested the government to grant permission to import vegetables from India to control its prices.

“The recent floods have destroyed crops of tomato, onion, potato and other vegetables across the country,” he said, adding that the crisis is expected to prevail for the next three months.

The vegetable crisis could further worsen in September, October and November, he added.

It will take a few days to transport vegetables from India to Pakistan via the Wagah border.

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