Demand for import of cotton, vegetables and other commodities from India

Karachi: Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Businessmen’s Group demanded the federal government to immediately import raw cotton, vegetables and fruits and other food items from India through Wagah.

This demand has been made by President of Karachi Chamber of Commerce Muhammad Idris and Chairman of Businessmen Group Zubair Motiwala in the context of destruction of agricultural crops, vegetables, fruits, commodities and local need due to floods.

Karachi Chamber President Mohammad Idris has said that Pakistan is facing severe shortage of all these products, the country is heavily dependent on local production of agricultural products but now it is obvious that wheat, rice, raw cotton, grains and vegetables etc. It will have to be imported, so it is better to import from India, which also produces a lot of commodities and livestock.

He further said that the sharp rise in prices of vegetables and other commodities in the local markets has made them unaffordable and beyond the reach of the poorer sections of the society, so the government should immediately import agricultural products from India without wasting any time. Imports should be allowed so that prices can be kept stable and the people of the country saved from hunger and poverty.

Chairman BMG Zubair Motiwala said that in addition to destruction and losses of billions of rupees due to stormy rains and floods, food crisis has arisen as raw cotton, chilli, cabbage, onion and other fruit and vegetable crops in Sindh and Balochistan are complete. has been devastated and agricultural land is still under water while cattle are also washed away in the flood water so it has become imperative to open the Wagah border and allow import of commodities from India so that at least at competitive rates from our neighboring country. By importing food items in time, the food requirements of our country and the agricultural input requirements of the industry can be met immediately.

He said that the government has to act quickly and sensibly in this regard to prevent the food crisis. According to an estimate, 65 percent of Pakistan’s staple food crops, including 80 percent of wheat, rice, and raw cotton, were completely washed away during the floods, and more than 3 million livestock also died.

Zubair Motiwala said that the wisest move in this situation would be to import all these products from India with less logistics cost and time as compared to other countries with huge logistics costs and time required. Imports from India will have a tolerable impact on the country’s balance of payments compared to others, so policymakers must consider and act on allowing imports from their neighboring country in the larger interest of the country.

He warned that Pakistan’s recovery from crop damage could take several months and if timely import of raw cotton from India is not allowed, reduced production will reduce textile exports such as cotton. It is the basic and most important raw material for textile production. A decline in textile exports will worsen the situation of an already ailing and overburdened economy.

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