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Food prices soar in Nangarhar after Torkham closure

Food prices soar in Nangarhar after Torkham closure

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Mar 16, 2020 - 18:22

JALALABAD (Pajhwok): The prices of food items have increased in eastern Nangarhar province after Pakistaninfo-icon closed the Torkham gate against passengers and transit trade for prevention of coronavirus spread.

 Nangarhar officials say Pakistan closed the border crossing last night.

Governor’s spokesman, Attaullah Khogyani, told Pajhwok Afghan News quoted Pakistani officials as saying that they closed the border following orders from seniors for prevention of coronavirus entry to that country.

He said the gate was closed for a period of 10 days, but the time will be extended if the virus outbreak was not controlled

On the other hand, Nangarhar residents complain that the prices of primary items have increased after the closure of the border.

They say the price of 49 kilograms of flour increased from 1,600 afghanis to 1,750 afghanis. The rates of other food items have also surged.

Ghulam Nabi Toor, head of Business Commissioners Association in Torkham border, said that the border closure had badly affected businesses in the province.

He said the border closure not only resulted in price hike but also caused joblessness.

Sarwar Gul, a resident of Nangarhar, also said that prices soared by up to 20 percent since yesterday.

Sayed Rahman, a businessman in Torkham, said that the virus could not be controlled with border closure but it will only damage business.

He said borders should be kept open at least for transit of goods.

However, officials of Chamber of Commerce in Nangarhar said that the prices were increased by shopkeepers, not by suppliers and they were trying to control the situation.

Dr. Shams Mujahid, head of Nangarhar Chamber of Commerce, said that there was no shortage of anything in the province and reservoirs were full of all needy items, but shopkeepers increased prices due to high demand in market. He said a commission was tasked today to control prices in the market.

Twenty-one cases of coronavirus have been detected in Afghanistaninfo-icon. All of the cases are related to people returning from Iran.

Mds/ma

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