LAHORE: Pakistan has spent $1.37 billion on the imports vegetables in the first half of the current fiscal year, reported a private English daily.
According to the details issued by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Friday, a large proportion of the $21.3 billion imports in the first half of FY2018 include agricultural and dairy products. Such products are widely available in the country and such heavy spending on their imports could have been easily avoided.
Imports of vegetable products in the period went up to $1.37 billion, showing an increase of 29 per cent compared to $1.067 billion of the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year. Similarly, imports of edible vegetables were valued at $424.7 million, witnessing a 51 per cent increase compared to same period of the previous fiscal year. Some of these imported vegetables are not produced in the country, but a large proportion of them are produced here, but the consumers are unwilling to buy them as they carry huge doses of pesticides and other chemicals.
In the period under review, imports of fruits also increased to $74.9 million from $49 million in the corresponding period of last year. Similarly, $64.6 million was spent on the import of dairy products and live animals worth $23.9 million were also imported.
Moreover, $312.5 million was spent on the import of coffee, tea, whiteners and spices, $908.9 million was spent on import of animal or vegetable fats, oils and cleavage products and $500.9 million was spent on import of oil seeds and oleaginous fruit.