Border between India and Pakistan
The imposition of 25 per cent regulatory duty on potato exports from Pakistan and making its import at zero per cent have yet to make the vegetable cheaper in domestic markets.

The government issued two statutory regulatory orders (SROs) on May 2 to fix regulatory duty on potato exports at 25pc. On the same day, another SRO was issued stating that no regulatory duty and other levies would be charged on import of 200,000 tonnes of potatoes from May 5 to July 31.

The government is trying to keep duty-free import of potato till July 31 to curb prices in Ramazan, starting from end of June.

The issue of removing duty on imports and fixing regulatory duty on exports had been in news for the last many days, but consumers have continued to pay Rs50 per kg for one of the most sought-after edible items. Retailers blamed lingering high wholesale price of the main staple food at Rs45 per kg.

However, the government has claimed that the country had surplus stocks of 1.1 million tonnes of potatoes lying in the cold storage. But retailers and wholesalers said that more than 500,000 tonnes of potato had already found way to Afghanistan and Iran through informal channels, thus rising prices in local markets.

Importers and market traders are reviewing options to import potato from various countries after the government’s decision on imports.
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