(August 31, 2022)
Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said people will die of hunger if the import of agri products from India was not allowed.
The crops have been destroyed due to floods, which has created a severe shortage of food items across the country and the prices are continuously increasing threatening food security, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that profiteers are active again in the wake of floods as the country lacks an effective system to control these elements.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that widespread starvation is feared in Pakistan which can be avoided by importing agri products from India without further delay.
The prices of tomatoes and onions have jumped to Rs500 per kg in various cities and they are expected to increase further while such items can reach Pakistan in 48 hours.
Pakistan stopped trade with India three years ago due to the issue of Kashmir, which did not have any impact on India, but it encouraged profiteers in Pakistan who gave the people a gift of record inflation, he observed
This loot by profiteers is still going on and it has become necessary to import grains and vegetables from India to curb this practice.
The business leader noted that imports through Wagah will be insufficient and it will be expensive to transport them to different parts of the country.
Therefore, dozens of border markets should be built on the border between Pakistan and India, which is more than 3,000 kilometres long, which is necessary to provide relief to the people because the floods have wiped out millions of acres of standing crops.
Pakistan is presently importing vegetables and fruits coming from Iran and Afghanistan but the quantity is insufficient for the needs of Pakistan.
If the government delays this important decision, importers will start importing Indian agricultural products through Dubai, which will increase their price, which will be borne by the people.
At present, onion is available at the Wagah border at Rs69, tomato at Rs83 and potato at Rs69 per kg in Pakistani currency, but in Pakistan, the price of these items is hundreds of rupees per kg, which is equivalent to the oppression of people.