Pak govt divided on lifting onion export ban to India

A meeting was held in the Commerce Ministry on the issue and there was no no decision.
Official sources said Commerce Minister Maqdoom Amin Fahim was out of the country and was expected back tomorrow after which there could be a meeting to review the issue.
Earlier the Ministry of Food and Agriculture had agreed to the move to continue onion exports to India because there was adequate production of onion in the country despite the floods that devastated agricultural lands across Pakistan last year, an official  said.
Sources in the Indian High Commission confirmed that there has been no movement of onion consignment since the ban was imposed by Pakistani authorities last week. PTI
no truck carrying onions from Pakistan crossed over to Amritsar today, Customs Department (Amritsar) Deputy Commissioner RK Duggal told PTI.

However, 146 trucks carrying vegetables and soyabean were sent to Pakistan today by Indian traders and nine trucks containing dry fruits from Pakistan entered Indian territory through Attari-Wagah land route.

According to customs officials, the Pakistan government has not taken any decision on the request made by Pakistani vegetable traders to lift ban on onion export.

"We have been told by officials of customs department of Pakistan today that the talks (relating to lifting of ban) between (Pakistan) government and vegetable traders were still going on but no decision has still been taken by the Pakistan government," he said.
Pakistan had imposed complete ban on onion export to India via land route on January 6 to prevent any spiralling hike in bulb prices in its country.

Vegetable traders of India and Pakistan protested against the ban and shut down their trade on January 7. Amritsar-based traders refused to export vegetables, including tomato, to Pakistan via Attari-Wagah land route, though they commenced sending vegetables on January 8.

Indian traders have been demanding that the Pakistan government should allow the supply of contracted orders of onion which they made before the announcement of ban.
"Close to 300 trucks laden with onion, which were contracted before the ban was imposed, were not allowed to be sent by Pakistan," Amritsar-based vegetable trader Anil Mehra said while adding that it was a huge loss to traders here and in Pakistan.
Traders pointed out vegetable exporters in Pakistan may dispose of 300 trucks of onion (3000 metric tonne) today or tomorrow because of continuation of ban. "They (Pakistan vegetable traders) will sell 300 trucks of onion, which was to be supplied to us, today or tomorrow in their local market to prevent themselves from further loses with ban (onion export) still in place," Mehra said.

India is a major exporter of vegetables to Pakistan as out of total export via land route, 30-32 per cent account for tomato alone. Besides, soybean has a share of 55 per cent soybean and remaining with chilly, ginger, potato, capsicum, biscuits, raw cotton etc.
India started importing onion in the month of December last year for the first time from Pakistan after facing soaring prices of bulb. About 7,000 MT of onion had arrived since the commencement of onion export to India from Pakistan via land route.

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