As COVID-19 Cases Rise In India, Import From Afghanistan Via Attari Border Reduces

Kabul: Import from Afghanistan via the Attari-Wagah border to India has reduced to almost zero over the past one week as the country sees an unprecedented rise in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.

This comes even as the Ministry of Public Health is planning to ban all flights to India and restrict traveling to the country which is facing the worst pandemic crisis. Sukhdev Singh, Land Port Authority of India (LPAI)’s Integrated Check Post (ICP) manager, said, “Earlier, we used to get over 50 trucks from Afghanistan bearing dry fruits and licorice. Over the 10 days only a couple of trucks came with the trade offer and there were no trucks from Afghanistan on Saturday and Sunday.”

The Attari integrated check post (ICP) facilitates India’s trade with Pakistan and Afghanistan and officials posted there said that the reduction in trade can be attributed to the surge in COVID-19 cases in the country. Before mid-April, nearly 15 trucks carrying goods came from Afghanistan on a daily basis. The daily count of trucks was recorded more than 50 till mid-March when apple was also being imported from the country.

A senior customs official said, “There is less import from Afghanistan due to off-season of dry fruits. We are following all Covid-19 protocols at the time of the unloading of trucks. A health department team gives clearance to truck drivers at the zero line before they cross over to India.”

Anil Mehra, President of Federation of Karyana and Dry Fruit Association, said, “Most of the dry fruit traders are based in New Delhi where a strict lockdown has been imposed due to COVID-19. Importers in Delhi have shelved their orders from Afghanistan. Besides, transportation has also been impacted due to a sudden surge in pandemic and Indian traders are not placing many orders.
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Latest from Newsfeed; Tuesday, April 27 2021