Posts Tagged 'Pakistan'

India Imports Onions from Pakistan

The astonishingly high price of onions throughout India has pushed the local topic of conversation away from the mega corruption scandals of the day (the Commonwealth Games (CWG), Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society, the give-away of the 2G telecommunications spectrum, etc.) to the lowly onion, an indispensable ingredient in Indian cooking.  Nationwide, prices are around Rs. 60 to 80 per kilo.  In Pondicherry, it is Rs. 80 ($1.82 at Rs. 44 to U.S. $1).

India exported onions until April 2010.  Prolongued rains in the onion growing areas of Maharashtra, Gujarat and South India resulted in the current shortages.  Effective yesterday, 21 December 2010, the Price Fixation Advisory Committee (PFAC) of the Ministry of Agriculture issued a decision to “voluntarily suspend issuance of NOCs [no objection certificates] for export of onion by NAFED [National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India], NCCF [National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India], and other STEs [I assume this stands for State Trading Enterpises]…” and that NAFED and NCCF would sell onions at Rs. 35-40 through their retail outlets. Wholesale prices in Nasik, one of the major growing areas, came down 35% based on the announcement.  The same day, in a complete reversal, India imported onions from Pakistan. (The cost of onions from Pakistan, including customs duty, cess, transportation and handling chareges, is Rs. 18-20/kg.)  Now, prices in Pakistan are expected to go up 25-30%.

How is the common wo/man affected?  In Pondicherry, street vendors are adding cabbage as filler to supplement onions.  A Times of India Poll:  Will you continue to buy onions? currently stands at 48% (Yes) to 52% (No).  One “no” voter blames the price rise on the 2G, CWG, Adarsh, and other scams.  This article claims that onion prices will threaten India’s growth and government, and a Facebook comment states:  “Give me my bonus in onions.”

Pakistan-India Peoples’ Forum for Peace & Democracy Condemns Emergency in Pakistan


November 4, 2007


Pakistan-India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD) strongly condemns the imposition of Emergency in Pakistan. This Emergeny is illegal and unconstitutional. The Emergency means suspension of all fundamental rights. The regime of Pervez Musharraf today arrested Dr. Mubashir Hasan and I A Rehman, both founding members of PIPFPD, amongst others. The regime has also arrested Asma Jehangir, internationally acclaimed human rights activist, and sealed the office of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), Lahore.

Musharraf has usurped the independence of the judiciary by sending troops into the Supreme Court of Pakistan and detaining Iftikhar Chooudhary, Chief Justice of Pakistan and removing other judges who refused to take an oath under the Provincial Constitutional Order (PCO). Emergency has been imposed as the Judiciary, of late, became pro-people and embarrased Musharraf many times. The Supreme Court was to deliver a judgement on petitions challenging the election of Musharraf as President of Pakistan.

Emergency also means encroachment on freedom of expression and speech. It is no surprising that a few vocal journalists, too, were arrested.

We express our solidarity with the struggling, pro-democracy people of Pakistan and express confidence that sooner than later the citizens of Pakistan will achieve true democracy.

Jatin Desai, Hon. Secretary
PIPFPD (Maharashtra)

Please note: Pakistan-India Peoples’ Forum for Peace & Democracy (PIPFPD), Peace Mumbai, Awami Bharat, among others, will demonstrate on Monday November 5, 2007 at 5.00pm outside Churchgate Station, against the imposition of Emergency in Pakistan. If you are in Mumbai, please join them.


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