Vegetable imports from Kabul on rise

Islamabad, October 14, 2005 - Pakistan’s import of essential vegetable from Afghanistan recorded a massive growth during the August-October period of the current fiscal year. A senior official told Dawn on Thursday that for the first time these products onions, potatoes, tomatoes and pulses were imported in bulk from Afghanistan. The government few months back exempted these commodities and livestock from customs duty and withholding tax with a view to encouraging imports and bringing down prices of these commodities in the local market. According to the statistics, the import of onions from Afghanistan stood at 15,538.508 tons, tomatoes at 272 tons and pulses stood at 2,214.162 tons during the Aug-Oct period. The import of potatoes from Afghanistan started in May this year, and up to October its quantity stood at 2,231.479 tons. The official expects that in the next few months, the imports of these and other essential vegetables would record a massive growth.