LAHORE: A fruit and vegetable wholesale market is under construction at the Chaman bypass in Qila Abdullah district, which will provide an avenue to domestic and international traders for doing business with Afghanistan, Russia, central Asian states and eastern European countries, market sources say.
For the development of the project, seven acres of land has been allocated to the Chaman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) and the Chaman International Fruit and Vegetable Marketing Society. The market is being constructed at a cost of Rs63.5 million.
Members of the marketing society told The Express Tribune that the project will help the dealers trade through proper channels. They said that two auction platforms and storage centres will be constructed which will be used by both the government and the market committee.
CCCI executive committee member Haji Rahmat Ullah said that the project has been designed to facilitate the traders who have been using other channels. This will also generate revenues as majority of the traders were not paying anything to the government in duties on import and export.
He said that Pakistani traders have no other appropriate and feasible route that could be used for trade with the central Asian states and eastern European countries, except for Khyber and Chaman routes.
He stressed that the provincial and federal governments must approve the demand of the marketing society and the CCCI which are seeking allotment of more land for the wholesale market. “A mere 23 acres more are required to make it a state-of-the-art wholesale market that will have facilities for domestic and international traders,” he added.
Experts from Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Board said that the government must encourage efforts to promote legal trade. They said that the project must be transformed into a modern facility that could attract not only domestic dealers but also international traders for conducting business with Central Asia and eastern Europe.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 20th, 2011.