ISLAMABAD: Minister for Finance and Revenue Minister Miftah Ismail said the government would consult the stakeholders to make a decision on whether to allow imports from India in the aftermath of floods.
He said, “More than one international agency has approached Pakistan get permission to bring food items from India through the land border to support the flood-hit needy people.”
The government will take the decision to allow imports or not based on supply shortage position, after consulting its coalition partners & key stakeholders,” he tweeted.
PML-N leader and former Sindh Governor Mohammad Zubair said the country “desperately” needed essential food items.
“Not importing at cheaper rates within a short timeframe will be criminal. Like we say, we can deal with politics later — this time international politics,” he added.
On Monday Finance Minister said the government could consider importing edibles through the land border with India because the sharp rise in food prices following the devastation from floods across the country was not sustainable.
Miftah said he was in the favour of Pakistani farmers earning money and did not want to open imports, nonetheless, Pakistan was facing an “extraordinary difficult situation” and trade with India would be opened if need be.
The matter was also brought up in the Senate Standing Committee on Commerce’s meeting in which Senator Palwasha Khan questioned whether the government was considering importing onions and tomatoes from India.
Answering the question Commerce Minister Naveed Qamar said the government has decided to import these items from Iran and Afghanistan.