PESHAWAR - Due to the recently-imposed regulatory duty on imported goods from Afghanistan, prices of dry fruits have increased in the local market while retailers are waiting for fresh supply to maintain the prices.

The imposition of regulatory duty on 731 imported items pushed the businessmen to increase the prices of these items, thus further burdening the common people. 

The traders of Afghanistan are not ready to send perishable items at old prices as according to them, the old prices would result in heavy losses due to imposition of the new duties.

Sulaiman Khan, a dry fruit merchant, said while talking to The Nation that they were selling the dry fruits imported during the previous season, as their fresh orders had yet not been served due to imposition of the regulatory duty.  He said that there was no fresh supply of cashew nuts in all over Peshawar and its prices had increased up to 80 per cent due to imbalance in supply and demand.

He added that old stuff was almost over and they were eagerly waiting for the fresh supply from Afghanistan. He said that if the situation remained the same, prices of Almonds and pistachio would also touch the sky.

Director Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry Zia-ul-Haq Sarhadi said that Pakistani government was responsible for the situation, adding that imposition of the regulatory duty would badly affect trade volume between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

He said that the prices of perishable items would have direct impact on poor masses as they would have to purchase the same on exorbitant prices. The new duty will also disturb the demand and supply chain as the traders will not agree to accept these new regulations, he said.

KP Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Zahidullah Shinwari also expressed concern over the recently-imposed regulatory duty on imported items and said that it would not only increase the prices of consumer goods but also promote smuggling in the country, ultimately reducing the government’s revenues.

The businessmen warned that if the government did not withdraw the regulatory duty on imported items, they would start agitation.