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Indian traders keen to import Pakistani onion

CHANDIGARH: With the Centre mulling onion import to boost supplies, Amritsar based traders have asked their counterparts in Pakistan to seek permission for onion export to India through Attari-Wagah land route in a bid to enhance its availability in the country.

“We have asked traders in Pakistan to pursue the matter with Pakistan’s Ministry of Commerce at a higher level pertaining to onion export to India via Attari-Wagah land route,” Amritsar based trader Rajdeep Uppal said.

According to traders, Pakistan does not allow onion export to India through Attari-Wagah land route.

“We have asked Lahore based traders to take up this matter on urgent basis as there is a huge shortage of onion in India and prices have shot up enormously,” he said while adding that the situation would be clear in few days.

Sensing viability of onion import from the neighbouring country in the wake of high rates in India, traders pointed out if Pakistan allows export of onion to India, the landed cost of the crop will be around Rs 40 a kg.

“Currently, onion in Pakistan is ruling at a price of Rs 30-35 per kg (in Indian currency) and if we add packaging, transportation cost and taxes, the landed cost will be around Rs 40 a kg in India,” said Uppal who is MD of Narain Exim.

Onion supply comes from Sindh and Balochistan area of Pakistan, traders informed. Onion prices have shot up to Rs 70 to 80 a kg in retail markets in the country because of short supply.

India imported onions from Pakistan during December 2010 and January 2011 when the country faced massive shortage of supply of the staple vegetable.