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Punjab traders resume vegetable export to Pakistan

Saturday January 08, 2011 06:41:09 PM, IANS

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Amritsar: In a goodwill gesture, Punjab-based traders Saturday resumed the supply of tomatoes and other vegetables to Pakistan by land, an official said here.

The traders had stopped nearly 70 trucks laden with tomatoes, potatoes, ginger and chili from going to Pakistan after Islamabad halted onion sales to India, where onion prices have hit the roof.

"We do not want to apply 'tit for tat' here and want trade between India and Pakistan to grow. Therefore, in a goodwill gesture, we agreed to send vegetables to Pakistan. Yesterday, no truck crossed the border," Amritsar Exports and Imports Chamber vice president Rajdeep Uppal told IANS.

He said: "We want Pakistan to immediately take back their decision and start sending onions. Their decision was a big surprise for us. They did not even release the cargoes already contracted."

Pakistan's commerce ministry said Jan 4 that onions cannot be taken out of the country by land, which amounted to a virtual ban on its export to India, since its import through ships or air is time-consuming and costly.

India was got around 50 truckloads of onions a day from Pakistan since Dec 21. The consignments came mainly from Sindh province. Pakistan has now said it is facing a shortage of onions.

Uppal denied that Pakistan had resumed onion exports.

"So far nobody has received any notification about this. It is all hearsay," he said.

Maninder Singh, another trader, said: "Today nearly 60 trucks will go to Pakistan. We hope Pakistan will learn something from us. Trade is the best medium to maintain harmonious relations."   

 

 

 

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