Islamabad: A leading Pakistani business chamber on Tuesday urged the government to give permission to resume import of vegetables from India through the Wagah border to bring down the soaring prices of vegetables in the country due to the devastating floods.
The request from the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) came a day after Pakistan Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said the government could consider importing vegetables and other edible items from India following the destruction of standing crops due to massive floods, three years after Islamabad downgraded trade ties with New Delhi over the Kashmir issue.
Pakistan is witnessing a massive surge in the prices of various vegetables and fruits due to devastating floods as the supply of vegetables from Balochistan, Sindh and south Punjab has badly been affected because of the disaster, The News International newspaper reported.
The situation is such that the prices of tomatoes have soared up to Rs 500 per kg and onions Rs 400 per kg, adding to the woes of common people to survive in such a severe situation.
The LCCI said that it’s high time the Pakistan government grants permission to import vegetables from India to control the soaring prices.
The recent floods have destroyed crops of tomato, onion, potato and other vegetables across the country, LCCI President Nauman Kabir was quoted as saying in the report.
He said 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.
He urged the government to take a fast decision as it will take a few days to transport vegetables from India to Pakistan via the Wagah border.
According to officials, floods have claimed over nearly 1,634 lives so far.