Due to the massive damages caused by the flash floods in Pakistan, food shortages are highly expected. Prices of onions and tomatoes are talking to the sky. In order to ensure adequate supply in the market at stable prices, the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFS&R) has come up with its decision that it will issue import permits for onions and tomatoes within 24 hours.
Due to a shortage of supply in the market caused by recent floods, the price of onions and tomatoes has reached Rs 300 per KG.
Earlier, Commerce Minister Naveed Qamar recommended prompt action to ensure the availability of tomatoes and onions to customers and the stabilization of these commodities’ increasing prices.
On account of heavy damages caused to the crops by recent floods and rains in the country, the decision to issue import permits for onion and tomatoes was taken at a meeting held in MNFS&R.
According to private media channel, the ministry has also suggested to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to waive taxes and charges on onion and tomato imports for the next 90 days. Pakistan’s embassies in Iran, Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates, and other countries have been asked to help with onion and tomato imports.
Moreover, importers will be permitted to bring in onions and tomatoes. The ministry has asked the Department of Plant Protection (DPP) to assist imports and guarantee that there are no barriers for importers, he said, adding that MNFS&R has engaged all stakeholders in order to assure a supply of essential commodities to customers.
To help stabilize the market, the Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Importers Exporters Merchants Association proposed removing customs and taxes on the import of onions and tomatoes for three months.