Pakistan banks on India for imports of vegetables as flood situation worsens
As the condition continues to worsen, not only the Pakistan government but NGOs as well as several business chambers have directly or indirectly favoured to resume imports, especially of vegetables, edible oils etc. from India during their time of crisis.
Chandigarh: Unprecedented rains due to climate change in Pakistan followed by a deluge have left vast swathes of land inundated which has not only caused physical damage to the infrastructure, livestock, farms, crops, etc. but also resulted in a severe scarcity of food items prominently among them staple vegetables whose prices have shot through the roof. As the condition continues to worsen, not only the Pakistan government but NGOs as well as several business chambers have directly or indirectly favoured to resume imports, especially of vegetables, edible oils etc. from India during their time of crisis.
In the recent past, Pakistan’s Finance Minister Miftah Ismail stated that the Pakistan government could consider importing vegetables from India. Pakistan’s one of the prominent NGOs Edhi Foundation has also favoured importing food items from India before it is too late.
Chairman of the Edhi Foundation Faisal Edhi told Zee News that water logging had caused severe loss of crops, and lakhs of tons of wheat stored in godowns were inundated.
“Despite best possible efforts of the government, it has not been able to provide emergency help to even 90% of the population, “ said Faisal adding that in several places people were hungry for the past one week to ten days.
Under such circumstances, Faisal Edhi said that government should allow the import of eatables from India.
Echoing Edhi, president of Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Nauman Kabir appealed to the Pakistan government to resume imports from India. He said vegetables like cauliflower, tomatoes, potatoes etc could rot during transportation from Iran and Afghanistan whereas if imported from India these vegetables would not only arrive quickly in Pakistan but would also come out to be cheaper.
Kabir said LCCI didn’t favour the import of end goods from India but wanted the Pakistan government to allow raw materials from India.
Meanwhile in India, Anil Mehra, president of the Federation of Karyana and Dry Fruit Commercial Association said the resumption of trade with Pakistan would be beneficial for both nations but at the same time, he said the Pakistan government had to stop supporting elements inimical to peace in India. “We are ready to export vegetables or any other item to Pakistan but the final decision had to come from the Center government, “ said Mehra.