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Growers reject duty-free import of 137 Indian items

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Staff writer ▼ | January 9, 2015
Growers organisations of India have demanded the government to cancel March 2012 notification allowing duty free import of 137 items from India that according to them caused import of vegetables and other commodities worth Rs 25 billion during 2013-14.
India vegetables
Commodities   A press conference at Lahore Press Club
Addressing a press conference at Lahore Press Club, growers' leaders lamented that Pakistan was importing thousands of tons of duty free vegetables from India on daily basis despite its aggression on geographical boundaries.

Kisan Board Pakistan (KBP) Senior Vice President Sarfraz Ahmad Khan addressed the press conference along with Basmati Growers Association (BGA) Chairman Hamid Malhi, Pakistan Kissan Ittehad (PKI) Chief Khalid Mehmood Khokhar, Farmers Associates Pakistan (FAP) Directors Abbad-ur-Rehman and Zafar Iqbal Khokhar, Punjab Water Council (PWC) founding convener Farooq Bajwa, Sindh Taas Water Council Salman Khan and Aiwan-e-Zaraat Vice President Ch Muhammad Abdullah.

“Indian growers are already getting heavy subsidy of Rs 100 billion per annum on producing agricultural commodities. Duty free import is breaking the backbone of Pakistani farmers who are bearing the brunt of heavy input cost. This duty free import of vegetables and other commodities has destroyed 70 per cent of tunnel farming only in Punjab”, the growers' leader claimed.

They said that MFN status to India was delayed but later Ministry of Trade issued a notification in March 2012 allowing 137 items duty free from India including 40 agricultural items.