QUETTA: Following a decision of the federal government to allow the private sector to import tomatoes and onions from Iran and Afghanistan, 50 trucks carrying the vegetables have crossed into the country through the Taftan and Chaman borders.

“Over the last two days, 50 large-body trucks entered Pakistan through the Friendship Gates of Taftan and Chaman,” a senior official of the Quetta Customs Collectorate told Dawn on Friday.

He said more consignments of onions and tomatoes would reach the country in the coming days.

“We received 27 trucks of fresh tomatoes and onions from Iran on Friday which were carrying 660 tonnes of onions and tomatoes while13 trucks reached yesterday,” Arshad Hussain, a senior Customs officer told Dawn, adding these trucks were immediately dispatched to Quetta after completing legal formalities.

Deputy Collector of Customs, Chaman, Malik Muhammad Ahmed, said 10 trucks crossed into Pakistan through Chaman border from Afghanistan.

“The trucks loaded with the consignment of fresh tomatoes and onions were cleared after the routine checking,” he said, adding that the federal government had already announced a zero Customs duty on import of tomatoes and onions from Iran and Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Balochistan welcomed the federal government decision to allow the private sector to import onions and tomatoes from the two brotherly countries at a time when unprecedented floods had destroyed the two crops in all flood-hit areas of the country.

The prices of these two commodities and other vegetables had massively gone up and the entire country was faci­ng the shortage of vegetables because of the flood devastation across the country.

“Because of the import of onions and tomatoes from the two neighbouring countries, prices of these two commodities would come down in the next two to three days in all markets across the country,” BCCI President Fida Hussain Dashti told Dawn.

Published in Dawn, September 3rd, 2022

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