ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided to issue the permit within 24 hours for importing the stocks of onion and tomato at the earliest, ARY News reported on Tuesday.
The Ministry of National Food Security and Research has decided to issue import permit for onions and tomatoes within 24 hours. The ministry forwarded the recommendations to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).
According to the food ministry, taxes and levies will not be imposed on the imports of onions and tomatoes.
Earlier, the Ministry of Commerce decided to import onions and tomatoes from Afghanistan and Iran to control soaring prices in the country.
A meeting chaired by Commerce Minister Naveed Qamar at the Federal Ministry of Commerce in which the availability of tomatoes and onions in the country was reviewed.
It is pertinent to mention here that the recent torrential rains and flooding have affected the production of vegetables.
The session decided to facilitate the import of onions and tomatoes from Afghanistan and Iran to meet the demand for the vegetables in the country.
“The country will face a shortage of onions and tomatoes in the next three months,” the meeting was informed in a briefing. “Current flooding has damaged crops and a shortage and hike in prices are expected,” the participants briefed.
“Import of tomatoes and onions will help in availability and stabilization of prices of these vegetables in the country,” the meeting told.
“The Ministry of Commerce will work with the national food security ministry and the FBR,” it was decided in the meeting.
The session also decided to get relief in levies and duties on the import of tomatoes and onions from the Economic Coordination Committee of the federal cabinet.
Commerce Minister Naveed Qamar earlier urged immediate steps for the availability of tomatoes and onions to consumers and stabilisation of the soaring prices of these commodities.
The price of onions and tomatoes has touched Rs 300 per KG due to a shortage of supply in the market owing to recent floods.
The Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Importers Exporters Merchants Association had earlier suggested the abolition of duties and taxes on the import of onions and tomatoes for three months to stabilize the market.