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Tomato prices through the roof in Pakistan as government snaps trade ties over abrogation of Article 370, selling at Rs 300 per kg

Due to its high dependence on exports from India, this decision to snap trade ties with India has hit the already economically- ruined Pakistan hard. 

In retaliation against Modi government’s decision to abrogate Article 370 and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories, parody country Pakistan has formally suspended trade ties with India. However, the country which is crying over rising price of ‘roti’ and ‘naan’ may soon have to cry over price of tomatoes.

The prices of tomatoes in Pakistan are soaring at Rs 300 per kg. Prices of various other vegetables, including that of potatoes, onions and green vegetables in Pakistan have also risen considerably. Due to its high dependence on exports from India, this decision has hit the already economically- ruined Pakistan hard.

Pakistan had called in a National Security Council meeting on August 7 in which it arrived at the decision of severing trade between the two countries, downgrading bilateral diplomatic ties with India and raising the issue of Kashmir in the United Nations Security Council among other things.

Other than tomatoes, potatoes which earlier might have cost Rs 10-12 per kg is now costing the people of Pakistan not less than Rs 30-35.

It is pertinent to note here, that Pakistan until now got its maximum supply of tomatoes from Madhya Pradesh in India. Many farmers in Mourya, Jhabua, Shajapur, Khargone and Ratlam districts in Madhya Pradesh export tomatoes to Pakistan. The trade takes place through export agencies in Amritsar via the Attari-Wagah border. During the peak season in October-November, 50-60 trucks, each with a capacity of 15 tonnes, pass through the border every day.

Pakistan had earlier too, in a fallout of the ghastly Pulwama attack, amongst other things, suffered a crunch in the supply of tomatoes. The tomato growing farmers of Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh had then decided not to export their produce to Pakistan.

As a mark of respect for the fallen and to protest against Pakistan’s wicked machinations, around 5000 of the farming community engaging in the cultivation of tomatoes in Jhabua’s Petlawad had concluded of not exporting their tomatoes to a country which indulges in killing India’s soldiers.

India had then tried to isolate Pakistan internationally and had levied 200% customs duty on the Pakistani goods imported. This had then resulted in a massive economic and trade shock to the already near-bankrupt state of Pakistan. Then too, the trade suspension had not affected India as much as it did Pakistan. In the first quarter of FY20, India’s exports to Pakistan were $452.5 million and imports were $7.13 million. In FY19, total exports to Pakistan were $2.06 billion, while imports were $495 million.

Notably, Pakistan does not feature among India’s top 35 exporters and importers, while India stands on the seventh position in its list of exporters. Therefore, Imran Khan’s decision to suspends trade ties with India is bound to hit the parody nation dearly.

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