Fifty trucks carrying tomatoes and onions from Iran and Afghanistan have entered Pakistan through the Taftan and Chaman borders due to the federal government’s decision to allow the private sector to import these crops.
“In the previous two days, fifty large-bodied vehicles entered Pakistan through the Friendship Gates of Taftan and Chaman,” a senior officer of the Quetta Customs Collectorate reported to Dawn on Friday.
He stated that additional shipments of onions and tomatoes would arrive within the next several days.
“We received 27 trucks carrying 660 tons of fresh tomatoes and onions from Iran on Friday, while 13 trucks arrived yesterday,” Arshad Hussain, a senior Customs officer, told Dawn, adding that these vehicles were immediately dispatched to Quetta after completing legal processes.
Malik Muhammad Ahmed, Deputy Collector of Customs for Chaman, stated that ten trucks entered Pakistan from Afghanistan through the Chaman border.
“The trucks carrying the shipment of fresh tomatoes and onions were cleared following the usual inspection,” he said, adding that the federal government had already announced that there would be no customs duty on tomatoes and onions imported from Iran and Afghanistan.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Balochistan applauded the federal government’s decision to enable the private sector to import onions and tomatoes from the two fraternal countries at a time when enormous floods had wiped out the two crops in every flood-affected region of the nation.
Due to the widespread devastation caused by the floods, the prices of these two staples and other vegetables had skyrocketed, and the entire nation was experiencing vegetable scarcity.
“Due to the importation of onions and tomatoes from two neighboring countries, the cost of these two commodities will decrease in the next two to three days in all markets across the country,” said BCCI President Fida Hussain Dashti in an interview with Dawn.