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KCCI seeks PM's assistance for issuance of Import Permits Groundnuts.

KARACHI -- President of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Shamim Ahmed Firpo on Thursday requested the government to save the importers from suffering grave losses due to discriminatory treatment by the Department of Plant Protection which has denied to issue the Import Permit for groundnuts.

In a letter issued to Prime Minister Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, President KCCI pointed out that the Department of Plant Protection has stopped issuing Import Permit, which resulted in completely halting the import of groundnuts and also caused severe shortages in the local markets.

Shamim Firpo said that it was almost impossible for the poor segment of society to purchase pricey dry fruits including almonds, walnuts and pine nuts etc. during winter season therefore, the majority of population prefers to buy groundnut which was usually available at affordable rates but it was unlikely to happen this year as the local production has descended sharply by around 10,000 tons due to infected groundnut crop, leaving behind a very small quantity of just 15,000 tons to cater to the massive demand of 150,000 tons from every nook and corner of Pakistan.

He said that to cater to the local demand commencing from November up to February, traders import huge quantity of 1,25,000 tons of groundnuts from around eight countries around the world including China, United States and other countries situated in the African region but the Department of Plant Protection has abruptly stopped issuing Import Permit with an excuse to secure the businesses of local producers which is likely to result in cancellation of already finalized import deals of this commodity.

Instead of facilitating the importers, the Department of Plant Protection has become part of this business by issuing old Import Permits, he added.

President KCCI informed that owing to reduced local production and suspension of groundnuts imports, the local price of groundnuts with and without crust have escalated by Rs100 and Rs35 per kilogram respectively. The price of groundnut with crust has climbed from Rs100 to Rs200 per kg whereas the rate of groundnut without crust has also witnessed an upsurge from Rs215 per kg to Rs250 per kg.

He feared that if the imports of groundnut was not timely reinstated, it will result in further raising the prices of groundnuts beyond Rs300 per kg, resulting in depriving the poor segment of society from consuming this cheaper dry fruit.

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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Date:Oct 28, 2016
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