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Tomato prices sky-rocket in Pakistan; Imran Khan govt blames India

BusinessToday.In     October 9, 2020

Tomato prices have sky-rocketed in Pakistan, touching Rs 200 per kg-mark across major cities including Karachi and Islamabad this week. Despite the country importing essential commodities to meet the demand, the prices continue to rise every day, leading to high inflation.

Not only tomato, prices of onion and wheat have also peaked to Rs 80 and Rs 60 per kg, respectively. The imported vegetables are also not providing a big relief for the country's citizens as items like ginger are being sold for Rs 600-700 per kg across major cities.

The current spike in prices, however, is blamed on a ban in imports from Iran and Afghanistan. The Pakistan government recently banned tomato and onion exports from these two countries, leading  to shortage of the staple foods items.

In anticipation of getting no respite from rise in prices of veggies from regulators, many retailers are resorting to hoarding onions, thereby burning a whole in the common man's pocket.

Despite Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's claims that he has everything under control, and that his government is working for the poor section of the society, the country is recording high inflation.

Also read: Pakistan must take sustained, irreversible action against terrorism: US

As per the latest data, the country reported 9.04 per cent CPI inflation in September, compared to 8.2 per cent in August. Last year in September, the CPI inflation stood at 11.4 per cent in the neighbouring country. In FY20, Pakistan had witnessed the highest inflation in the world, forcing policy makers to increase interest rates.

Some ministers in the Imran Khan government are also blaming India for its economic woes. Pakistan's information and broadcasting minister Shibli Faraz, during a presser that was called on inflation on Wednesday this week, blamed India for everything that's bad with Pakistan.

He alleged that India was trying its best to blacklist the country in the financial action task force (FATF). He also said that India wants to destabilise the country. The country's foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi also echoed his views, saying India was leaving no stone unturned to defame Pakistan on the global stage.

Notably, after the deadly Pulwama terror attack on CRPF jawans in J&K in February 2019, Indian tomato growers had stopped exporting products to Pakistan, leading to severe tomato crunch in the country and a sharp rise in prices.

Also read: How traders in Pakistan are hit after India's customs duty hike

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