The Taliban, a militant organisation that started controlling Afghanistan and came to power, has paused import and export trade with India. The trade was halted since it came to power on Sunday of the 15th of August.
How were imports and export taking place between India and Afghanistan?
India and Afghanistan had a long-running cordial trade relation. India exported tea, coffee, sugar, clothing, pharmaceuticals, cherry, watermelon, transmission powers, and medicinal herbs to the nation in South Asia. The imports from Afghanistan mainly consist of dry fruits. Also, eighty-five per cent of the dry fruits are imported from Afghanistan to India. Not only dry fruits but the Afghan exports include dried raisins, onions, gum, spices like shah jeera, hing, and so on. The Dry Fruit Traders Association president, Vijay Bhuta, claimed to The Indian Express that nearly 38,000 tonnes of material were shipped to India from Afghanistan every year.
Trade relations between the two countries:
Ajay Sahai, the director-General of the Indian Export Organisation (FIEO), spoke to the news agency ANI and claimed that India is one of the largest trade partners with Afghanistan. He adds to this by saying India has exported commodities worth $835 million in 2021 to the nation. Also, $3 million has been invested in Afghanistan for many projects. Also, he said that he was confident enough that the trade relations between the two countries would be retained in the new laws made by Afghanistan. Furthermore, he said that he is sure that Afghanistan would realise that trade is significant and economic development over a period. He added to it by saying that the new regime would like political legitimacy, and to fulfil that, India will play a significant role.
What is the reason behind the trade being paused?
Sahai claimed that the main reason for pausing imports from Afghanistan to India is halting the Cargo movement to Pakistan by the Taliban from where the goods are further travelled to India. He said to ANI that they are keeping a close watch on developing and improving Afghanistan. In addition to this, he said that as the imports from there come through the route of Pakistan, the Taliban has halted the movement of cargo to Pakistan and thus, imports have stopped virtually.
What could be the cause and future consequence in India due to a trading halt?
It is reported that the costs of dry fruits are expected to rise in the additional days, which are predominantly exported from Afghanistan. Also, as India exports commodities like walnut, apricot, anjeer, pine nuts, and other dry fruits only from Afghanistan, the country might face a shortage of commodities, specifically with apricot and anjeer.