Decision to import food items from India after consultation: Miftah Ismail

Decision to import food items from India after consultation: Miftah Ismail

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail.

Islamabad: The federal government will take the decision to import food from India after consulting with coalition partners and key stakeholders, Finance Minister Mifhta Ismail said Wednesday.

The country is facing shortages of vegetables and other food items after devastating floods have destroyed crops and pushed their prices to unimaginable levels.

Traders also asked the government to allow Wagah Border imports to address shortages.

But meanwhile, the Department of Commerce on Tuesday decided to import onions and tomatoes from Afghanistan and Iran in a bid to curb domestic price increases.

The finance minister took to Twitter a day after Prime Minister Shabazz Sharif declared that Pakistan would not allow imports and said the two countries needed to discuss the human rights situation in India-occupied Kashmir. Miftah Ismail said one or more international organizations have contacted the government to allow food to be brought from India across the border.

“The government will decide whether to allow imports based on supply shortages after consulting with coalition partners and key stakeholders.”

On Tuesday, the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) called on the government to allow vegetable imports from India across the Wagah border.

Speaking to Geo News, LCCI Chairman Nauman Kabir urged the government to allow vegetable imports from India to control prices.

“Recent floods have destroyed tomatoes, onions, potatoes and other vegetable crops across the country,” he said, adding that the crisis is expected to last for the next three months.

The vegetable crisis could get even worse in September, October and November, he added. It takes days to transport vegetables from India to Pakistan across the Wagah border.

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