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Punjab traders hope Pakistan will lift onion ban
Published on 8 Jan. 2011 12:14 AM IST
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Traders in Punjab hope the Pakistan government will allow resumption of export of onions to India via the land route at Attari-Wagah border after New Delhi’s overtures to the neighbouring country through diplomatic channels.
“We are quite optimistic Pakistan will start sending onion-laden trucks to Amritsar. We got the last consignment of 78 trucks on Jan 5. At that time, some 250 trucks had been stopped by Pakistani authorities,” Maninder Singh, a leading trader, told IANS.
“If the export ban continues, then prices of onion will reach `80-Rs.100 per kg.”
Pakistan’s commerce ministry said Jan 4 onions cannot be shipped out of the country via the land route, which virtually meant a ban on its export to deficient India, since its import through ships or air is time-consuming and costly.
India was receiving around 50 truck-loads of onions a day from Pakistan since Dec 5. The consignments were mainly coming to India from Pakistan’s Sindh province. Pakistan has now said it is facing a shortage of onions itself.
Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna Friday said India has again urged Pakistan to review its ban, after a similar effort by the Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma a day before.
“Right now it is difficult to say anything about Pakistan’s reaction but all the traders want to resume onion import from Pakistan,” said Rajdeep Uppal, vice president of the Amritsar Exports and Imports Chamber.
Authorities, meanwhile, continued to raid the warehouses of some traders in this union territory and various districts in Punjab.
“We have conducted raids at the offices, godowns and cold storages of leading commission agents and traders in Ludhiana, Amritsar and Jalandhar districts,” said an official with the Punjab tax department here.
“We checked illegal hoarding of onions and other vegetables,” he said, adding: “We have confiscated various documents, transaction slips and record books.”

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