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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

Traders for banning tomato exports to Pak

PTI  Chandigarh, November 07, 2013
First Published: 00:31 IST(7/11/2013) | Last Updated: 00:32 IST(7/11/2013)

Punjab-based traders on Wednesday said tomato exports to Pakistan via the Attari-Wagah land route should be banned in order to contain rising prices of the commodity.

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"The Centre should stop export of tomato to Pakistan via the Attari-Wagah land route for some days in order to curb the spiralling prices of the commodity in the wake of lower supplies," Amritsar-based Federation of Dried Fruits and Karyana Association president Anil Mehra told PTI.

Traders said though Indian exporters would lose some business if the tomato export was banned, but it would help bring down the prices at several places in the country.

Tomato is selling at Rs. 60-65 a kg at several places, including in Punjab and Chandigarh.
About 40-50 trucks laden with tomatoes are crossing over to Pakistan via the Attari-Wagah land route every day in the wake of the poor crop output in Pakistan.

"It is for the first time that wholesale prices of tomato in Pakistan have crossed Rs. 100 per kg as the country faced a huge shortfall in its production this season," said Mehra, who is also an importer and exporter.

"Only hotels and big restaurants are buying tomato at a very high price in Pakistan," he said.
Traders said they were getting supplies from Nashik in Maharashtra for exporting it to Pakistan.
Traders also pressed for banning the export of tomato, alleging that the Pakistan government did not allow its traders to export onion to India when the country was facing a massive shortage of the commodity.

"When we needed onion, Pakistan traders were not allowed to export it to India. In the same way, the Indian government should also ban the export of tomato to Pakistan," Mehra said.

"Pakistan is dependent on India for vegetables for about eight months a year," he noted.
In the wake of spiralling prices of onion, Punjab-based traders imported crop from Afghanistan via the Attari-Wagah land route.

Besides tomato, India also exports other vegetables, including green chilli and garlic, to Pakistan via the Integrated Check Post at Attari in Amritsar.

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