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Updated: January 7, 2011 22:30 IST

India asks Pakistan to resume onion export

PTI
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File photo shows a truck carrying onions from Pakistan entering India at the Wagah border post near Amritsar. Pakistan banned onion exports on Thursday to cool domestic prices.
PTI File photo shows a truck carrying onions from Pakistan entering India at the Wagah border post near Amritsar. Pakistan banned onion exports on Thursday to cool domestic prices.

India has initiated talks with Pakistan seeking resumption of onion exports from that country through the land route of Wagah border.

“We have initiated talks and before not too long we are hopeful that we will find solution to this...,” External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna told reporters in New Delhi on Friday.

The Ministry has also requested Pakistan government to allow export of onions in bulk through rail and ship routes, sources said.

Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar had on Thursday said that a contract has been entered into for Pakistani onion supply at Mundra port at Gujarat.

However, if the supplies have to be diverted from Wagah border for arrival through ship routes, it would take at least few more days to reach India.

Pakistan imposed a ban on export of onions through the land route on Thursday after 300 India-bound trucks loaded with about 3,000 tonnes of the commodity had reached the Wagah border near Amritsar.

An official spokesperson said in New Delhi that the government is trying to resolve the issue with Pakistan. “Government is working on it,” she said.

Prices of this vegetable have shot up by Rs. 5-10 per kg since Thursday after Pakistan put a curb on onion movement through land route.

Traders disappointed

Meanwhile, a report from Lahore said that Pakistani traders have expressed disappointment over the decision of their government to put these restrictions.

“Such decisions hamper trade between the two countries and cause wastage of perishable goods. This is in the interest of neither the government nor traders and consumers,” said Iftikhar Ali Malik, vice-president of the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The traders demanded that the customs authorities at the Wagah land border clear contracted consignments of 300 trucks.

Before the federal Pakistani government imposed the ban, several traders had bagged major orders from India.

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