Floods have been wreaking havoc with their impact reaching countrywide due to exponentially rising prices of vegetables whereas the government has started to consider importing of vegetables from India to minimize the impact.
Because of the flooding across the country, the prices of edibles, particularly vegetables, have been seeing an exponential increase due to devastation of agricultural areas coupled with disrupted supply lines, resulting in added misery for the people.
On the other hand, the federal government has hinted that it was considering allowing duty-free import of vegetables from India. Federal Finance Minister Miftah Ismail had said in a press conference on Monday that the trade would be purposed to minimize the negative impact of rising inflation.
The business community, on the other hand, has also cautioned the government to restrict import to only raw vegetables and not finished goods.
Prices of vegetables have skyrocketed throughout the country due to supply shortages just as inflation measured by the Sensitive Price Index (SPI) had reached the highest level in the country’s history. Petroleum products’ prices along with a disrupted supply of commodities due to flood devastation have been the major factors in increasing inflation.
According to reports, onions, tomatoes and potatoes are being sold from Rs200 per kilo to Rs400 per kilo in major cities including Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar. Prices of green pepper have reached Rs300 per kg and peas at Rs500 per kg. The supply of vegetables from rural areas of Balochistan and Sindh to city markets has drastically decreased. Vegetable sellers have said that the increase in transportation and logistics costs along with a supply shortage has resulted in a price hike.
Pakistan Bureau of Statistics has said that during the last week, the weekly inflation rate increased by 1.83 percent to reach a record-high level of 44.58 percent.