Indian vegetables import ban saves Rs10b forex

Salim Ahmed


Punjab Minister for Food Bilal Yaseen while chairing a meeting of Cabinet Committee on Price control has noted that local farmer has been strongly encouraged on banning imports of Indian vegetables and Pakistan has saved Rs.10 billion foreign exchange from July to November for not importing tomatoes from the neighbor country. This is a blessing in disguise, he said. Encouraged by government policy cultivators of Sindh even have sowed tomatoes in Rabi season too.
Referring to figures in briefing by Punjab Agriculture Department the provincial minister said that ban on Indian imports has put positive implications on local growers. India was used to export low quality potatoes to Pakistan, although Pakistani potato and onion considered of good quality and have demand worldwide. After increase in supply from Sindh prices of tomatoes in Punjab have gradually decreased, last year in December whole sale rate of tomatoes was Rs.58 per kg and now it is Rs. 59 per kg,he observed.
The Cabinet Committee agreed in principle with the suggestion by MPA Abdul Rauf Mughal that wheat growers should be encouraged to cultivate edible crops too so that burden on consumption of foreign exchange on import of the same could be lightened. Bilal Yaseen while taking notice of price hike of onion has directed all deputy commissioners to activate price magistrates to ensure that there is not considerable difference in whole sale and retail prices.

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