The government on Thursday termed as unfortunate Pakistan's decision to ban the export of onion to India by land. It said it has urged Islamabad to review its decision.
''We have urged them (the authorities in Pakistan) that the contracted quantities, which were to come via the land route, should be released," commerce minister Anand Sharma told newspersons in New Delhi.
Pakistan on Wednesday stopped 300 trucks carrying the root vegetable to India through the Wagah border crossing after complaints that exports to India had caused a sharp spurt in the vegetable's prices in Pakistan. The trucks were expected to enter Amritsar in Punjab by Thursday noon and reach Delhi by Friday, an official said.
The imported onions were meant to be distributed at a subsidised rate through the government-run kendriya bhandars.
Pakistan has not banned exports by either rail or sea, but this pushes up the landed cost of onion by Rs20,000 per 10,000 kg. The government had asked the State Trading Corporation and the Public Enterprises Co to import 300 tonnes and 1,000 tonnes of onion respectively from Pakistan to check skyrocketing prices of the vegetable in the domestic markets.
According to some observers, Pakistan may also have been miffed by reports of onions imported from there by sea lying rotting at a Mumbai port for lack of clearances.