Not considering import of vegetables from India: Pakistan

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Thursday said that there was no proposal under consideration currently to allow import of vegetables from India, amid growing calls for opening trade routes with the neighbouring country as prices of vegetables and fruits have spiked due to the devastating floods.
“We are in touch with countries in the broader region to facilitate the earliest import of vegetables in the country,” FO spokesman Asim Iftikhar Ahmad said in a press briefing in Islamabad.
His comments come as several business chambers have been urging the Shehbaz Sharif government to import essential items like onion and tomato from neighbouring India for the sake of consumers.
The idea to import edible goods from India was first floated by Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on Monday in the wake of soaring prices of the vegetables. However, Ismail said on Wednesday that the government will consult coalition partners and key stakeholders on importing food items from India, amid criticism from the Opposition over the plan in the wake of strained ties with New Delhi over the Kashmir issue.
On Thursday, Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Atif Munir requested the government to act swiftly to retain the vegetable supply chain.
“Trade with the neighbouring countries, especially India is vital to reduce transportation charges and that will help provide vegetables and fruits to consumers here at cheap rates,” he said.

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