Islamabad, Jan 08 (Agencies): Pakistan is yet to decide on India’s request for resumption of onion exports through the Wagah land border crossing after it was banned earlier this week to stabilise prices in domestic markets.

Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal has taken up the matter with Pakistani authorities, who have not yet conveyed a formal response to the request to resume exports, officials of the High Commission said.

Efforts are also being made to get Pakistani authorities to clear consignments that had already been contracted for, the officials said.

Customs officials and traders in the eastern city of Lahore, from where the consignments were being sent to India, too confirmed that the ban had not yet been lifted.

Officials said they were awaiting word from the Commerce and Foreign Ministries, which would decide on India’s call for resumption of exports.

Pakistani authorities stopped onion exports via Wagah on Wednesday, ostensibly to control surging prices in markets across the country.

Exports by sea are still allowed as the invoicing system for maritime consignments is less vulnerable to irregularities, sources said.

Prices of onions in India shot up by Rs 5 to Rs 10 per kg since Thursday after Pakistan curbed exports through the land route.

Onion exports began late last year after prices registered a sharp rise in India.

 
Traders resume vegetable export to Pakistan

In a goodwill gesture, Punjab-based traders on Saturday resumed the supply of tomatoes and other vegetables to Pakistan by land, an official said here. The traders had stopped nearly 70 trucks laden with tomatoes, potatoes, ginger and chili from going to Pakistan after Islamabad halted onion sales to India, where onion prices have hit the roof.

'We do not want to apply 'tit for tat' here and want trade between India and Pakistan to grow. Therefore, in a goodwill gesture, we agreed to send vegetables to Pakistan. on Friday, no truck crossed the border,' Amritsar Exports and Imports Chamber vice president Rajdeep Uppal said.

Pakistan's commerce ministry said on January 4 that onions cannot be taken out of the country by land, which amounted to a virtual ban on its export to India, since its import through ships or air is time-consuming and costly.

Uppal denied that Pakistan had resumed onion exports.

'So far nobody has received any notification about this. It is all hearsay,' he said.