The Afghan government has imposed an Rs 33 per kg import tax on kinnow this season against Rs 3.5 per kg of the last year.
During the era of Ashraf Ghani, Afghan government had put Rs 3.5 per kg on the import of Pakistani kinnow. It was a big amount as B grade kinnow had cost Rs 20 per kg in export to Afghanistan. But the present Taliban-led government in Afghanistan has imposed Rs 33 per kg import duty on Pakistani kinnow.
Shoaib Ahmad Basra, an owner of citrus polishing and grading unit in Sargodha and President of Sargodha Chamber of Commerce and Industry expressed the fear that there could be a big negative effect on the exports of kinnow.
Pakistan’s rate of customs duty is just Rs 6 per kg on pomegranate, grapes, and apples from Afghanistan, and these three fruits are sold in the Pakistani market at the rate of Rs 100 per kg each. During the fiscal year 2020-21, 85,000 tons of kinnow were exported to Afghanistan from Pakistan and this was about 32 percent lesser than the previous year’s export.
Mr. Shoaib Ahmad Basra called on the President, Arif Alvi along with a delegation and sought his help over the serious issue, and requested to raise it before Afghan authorities. The delegation also requested the President to open the Iranian Market for Pakistani citrus.
Mr. Basra further said that if the concerned issue is resolved, Pakistan has the potential of exporting at least 60,000 tons of kinnow. Pakistan has been exporting about 125,000 tons of citrus to Iran in the past.
Meanwhile, Muhammad Hanif Hangra, one of the kinnow growers of Sargodha said that if the related issues with Iranian and Afghan markets are not resolved in time, there could be a heavy financial loss to all stakeholders.
Mr. Hangra also said that there is already a drop of 40 percent in the production of kinnow this year due to climatic change and other government measures. Government should go for the resolution of problems on the most urgent basis.