New Delhi's diplomatic overtures to the Pakistan government have raised hopes amongst traders in Punjab that Islamabad would allow resumption of export of onions to India via land route at Attari-Wagah border.
A leading trader told IANS news agency that traders were quite optimistic of Pakistan resuming the overland trade through Attari-Wagah which was stopped on 5 January. He added that at that time, some 250 trucks had been stopped by Pakistani authorities.
He added that if the export ban were to continue onion prices would reach Rs80-Rs100 per kg.
On 4 January, Pakistan's commerce ministry said onions could not be shipped out of the country via the land route, thus clamping a virtual ban on export to India, since import through ships or air is time-consuming and costly.
India was receiving around 50 truck-loads of onions a day from Pakistan since 5 December mainly through consignments from Pakistan's Sindh province. Pakistan now says it is itself facing a shortage of onions.
According to external affairs minister S M Krishna, India has again urged Pakistan to review the ban, following a similar effort by the commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma a day before.