KARACHI: All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association has sought the Ministry of Commerce to clear cargoes of onion, garlic and ginger worth around $5.5 million...
KARACHI: All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA) has sought the Ministry of Commerce to clear cargoes of onion, garlic and ginger worth around $5.5 million stuck at the ports of Karachi.
Chairman PFVA Muhammad Shehzad Shaikh, in a letter to the secretary of commerce on Tuesday invited his attention towards the issue and appealed for the urgent release of the containers.
“We would like to submit that the containers of onion are still held up at the various terminals of Karachi seaport since the commercial banks are not releasing the documents due to non-availability of foreign exchange as per the statement of the banks,” said the letter.
This inordinate delay in timely clearance would lead to the multiplication of the cost of containers (eg terminal charges and shipping charges) with each passing day.
The high cost of onion containers would have a serious negative impact on the masses, taking onion out of their reach due to high price.
The wholesale rate of onion is Rs175/kg and the retail price is Rs250 to Rs270/kg, which after further delay in clearance, could shoot up further, he said.
According to the details mentioned in the letter, 250 containers of onion worth around $2.107 million, 63 containers of ginger worth around $0.816 million and 104 containers of garlic worth around $2.533 million were stuck at the port.
“We sincerely anticipate that prompt action would be initiated in the best interest of the common people to provide relief to them and make sincere efforts of the government successful,” said the letter.
PFVA Patron in Chief Waheed Ahmed in a statement said that the government should assure the urgent release of the containers. “If imported onion, ginger and garlic do not reach the market in time, prices would further increase in the local market,” he added.
It should be noted that due to recent monsoon and flash floods in the country, vegetable crops including onions were completely destroyed and prices started touching the skies in the local market.
Stakeholders said that in order to provide relief to the citizens of the country, imported vegetables should be made available to them.
An onion crop takes around 80 to 150 days to reach harvest; however, farmers have not been able to cultivate due to the destruction caused by the floods, particularly in the southern provinces of the country. Arable land in some parts is still inundated, while where water has receded, it left behind sand and debris.