Traders complain over surge in tariffs on watermelon

KABUL (Tolo News): The trader complained that the current government has surged the tariffs on the watermelon—which is imported from the neighboring countries of Iran and Pakistan. The traders said that the high tariff posed an increased in its price in the markets. They called on the Ministry of Finance to reduce the tariffs, so they can sell the products in good price.
“I import watermelon from Iran. Before Ramadan, the tariff for each ton of watermelon cost 5,000 Afs but after two-days of Ramadan, the tariffs have surged. There is 13,000 Afs tariff on one ton of watermelon now,” said Ataullah, a watermelon trader. The Fruit Market, which is one of the largest fruit markets in the capital Kabul, is now facing a reduction in demands for the products.
The traders said that their business dropped compared to the previous years due to high tariffs imposed by the government. “There is a high tariff on the import. The traders will suffer financial losses. The economic condition of the people is deteriorated, and they can’t offer for the expensive products,” said Ihsanullah, a watermelon trader.
Meanwhile, the Union of Fresh Fruit and Vegetable urged the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to reduce the tariffs on fresh fruits particularly watermelon. “In this season, in the previous year, around 5,000 people including drivers, worker and several others were working here,” said Abdul Razaq, a member of the union.
But the MoF that the tariffs is enforced based on the prices and demands at the markets. “We have conducted our survey in the markets. We have allocated the price based on the market. It usual that the tariffs have increased a little bit. But there is no change in the tariffs itself,” said Ahmadd Wali Haqmal. Afghanistan imports a huge part of the fresh fruits from the neighboring countries in the start of the year—any increase in the tariffs is cause an intensification in the price of the fruits in the market.