India extends exemption for Afghan agriculture imports



The Afghan embassy in New Delhi stated that India has extended for another year a special exemption for Afghan agricultural imports, which will not need to be fumigated before entering the country’s markets.

In a statement, the Afghan embassy further said the Indian’s new move is intended to support Afghan merchants.

“It is a good achievement for Afghan exporters. The decision will enhance the country’s exports to India by 50%,” said Omid Haidari, an Afghan merchant.

This comes as the Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) said the rate of Afghanistan’s exports to India was down due to a lack of air corridor flights.

“We have had no flights to India for nine months. India is a good market for Afghanistan,” said Khan Jan Alokozai, a member of the ACCI.

“Trading between Afghanistan and India is useful for Afghanistan. The export of dried fruits will increase to India via Waga pathway, if Pakistan agrees,” said Azrakhsh Hafezi, an expert.

Since India is a good market for Afghan products, Afghan merchants export via Waga port, Karachi and Chabahar to India.

The spokesperson for India’s foreign ministry, Shri Arindam Bagchi, said on Sunday that the consulate in southern Kandahar province is not closed, contrary to some Indian media reports. However, Indian personnel have been evacuated, the spokesperson said.

“India is closely monitoring the evolving security situation in Afghanistan. The safety and security of our personnel is paramount. The Consulate General of India in Kandahar has not been closed,” Shri Arindam Bagchi said.

“However, due to the intense fighting near Kandahar city, India … personnel have been brought back for the time being. I want to emphasize that this is a purely temporary measure until the situation stabilizes. The Consulate continues to operate through our local staff members,” Bagchi said.

“Arrangements are being made to ensure continued delivery of visa and consular services through our embassy in Kabul,” he said.

“As an important partner of Afghanistan’s, India remains committed to a peaceful, sovereign and democratic Afghanistan,” he added.

Previously, Indian media reported that the Indian consulate was closed in Kandahar due to security issues.

Around 50 diplomats and other staff members at the consulate in Kandahar have been evacuated in view of the “intense fighting near Kandahar city” India has said.

Personnel at the consulate were flown to Delhi by air force planes, NDTV reported.

On Friday, the Taliban launched an attack on Kandahar city’s District 7 and took over at least two security outposts, sources said. But security officials said Afghan forces prevented the group from advancing further into the area.

Taliban has control over 10 districts in Kandahar, according to the sources.—Tolonews


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