ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: A meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Federal Minister for Commerce Naveed Qamar in Islamabad on Tuesday to assess availability of tomatoes and onion in the Country.
During the meeting, it was discussed that the Country will face a shortage of tomatoes and onion in the next three months.
The recent floods have heavily damaged the crops resulting in price hike and shortage of these commodities.
The participants agreed in the meeting that import of tomatoes and onions will help to stabilize the commodities prices and will ensure availability in the market.
In order to further facilitate import of onions and tomatoes, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of National Food Security and Research and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will work together.
Furthermore, they will monitor the situation daily to ensure supply of the commodities to the market.
The meeting was apprised that the private sector is supplier, as well as importer of the two commodities.
Furthermore, a proposal to the Economic Coordination Committee will be tabled to allow a waiver of levies and duties on import of tomatoes and onion, so that the items are available in the market at a reduced price.
It was discussed in the meeting that import from Iran and Afghanistan will have minimal impact on the precious foreign exchange because of special arrangements on trade with these countries.
The Federal Minister for Commerce Naveed Qamar said that immediate steps should be taken to ensure the availability of tomatoes and onions to the consumer while every effort should be made to stabilize their prices.
The Ministry of Commerce through the Commercial Counsellors and Trade Attachés are in contact with the foreign governments abroad in order to make the arrangements in shortest time.
The Ministry of National Food Security and Research, in coordination with all stakeholders, will continue to monitor the food security situation in the country and will take steps to ensure food availability in the Country.