CAIT fears Afghanistan crisis will impact bilateral trade

PTIUpdated: Tuesday, August 17, 2021, 10:47 PM IST
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CAIT expressed fear that prices of the products imported from Afghanistan may go up in markets due to uncertainty of the political situation in that country/ Representational image | Photo: AP/PTI

The change of regime in Afghanistan and the uncertainty over future will hit the bilateral trade between the country and India, traders' association CAIT said on Tuesday.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) also cautioned domestic exporters and sought the Centre's intervention in preventing losses to the business community.

Afghan exports to India include dried raisin, walnut, almond, fig, pine nut, pistachios, dried apricot and fresh fruits such as apricot, cherry, watermelon, and medicinal herbs, according to a CAIT statement.

India's exports to Afghanistan include tea, coffee, pepper and cotton, toys, footwear and various other consumable items.

"With recent change of regime in Afghanistan, the bilateral trade between Kabul and India will be impacted badly since the future is uncertain," CAIT's Delhi NCR unit convenor Sushil Kumar Jain said.

"The bilateral trade between India and Afghanistan was $1.4 billion in 2020-21 as against $1.52 billion in 2019-20. Exports from India were $826 million and imports were aggregated at $510 million in 2020-21," Jain said, citing figures released by the CAIT.

The association expressed fear that prices of the products imported from Afghanistan may go up in markets due to uncertainty of the political situation in that country.

It also feared that currently several import-export shipments are stranded due to the situation in Afghanistan which may cause heavy losses to traders, advising domestic exporters to remain alert and keep an eye on the developments.

"Huge amounts of payments are likely to get blocked or delayed which will put traders in a vulnerable situation. The government must take cognisance of it and help the traders in the event of a financial crisis," the CAIT said.

The Taliban, a militant group, has taken over power in Afghanistan from an elected government as its insurgents stormed the country and captured all major cities and provinces in recent days even before the US could completely pull out its troops from the two-decade-old war theatre.

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