An uproar over social and print media regarding Pakistan’s pink salt also known as Himalayan salt has turned into a campaign against cheap export to India. The purpose of this campaign is to discontinue the export of valuable Pakistani salt to India at unjustified rates that clearly menaced the homeland gains while profited the neighbor. When it comes about relations with India, we usually know that both the countries are enemies of each other, especially the indulgence of Indian terrorism and poisonous propaganda of their media against Pakistan. To me, the news is too much shocking that amid such drastic conditions India still imports salt from Pakistan. We see only hatred news regarding Pakistan in Indian media and there is no adequate stuff related to what India imports from Pakistan.
India according to an agreement in June 24, 1947 will be continuously supplied by Pakistani salt despite war or peace. Similarly, they also agreed not to block Pakistani waters, though they are continuously building dams on our water thus breaching the agreement. Following post Pulwama escalations, India put all its efforts to sabotage Pakistan’s economy by taking certain antipathic steps such as raising 200% custom duties on our items almost banning them to get entry in their country. This occurred with immediate effect after India withdrew Pakistan from Most Favorite Nation (MFN) status.
In the whole scenario, only Pakistani salt is the good which is received by India with both hands at very comfortable price without any disruption. The more panic situation is that India resells our salt by naming it as Indian brand (Himalayan salt) to rest of the world at very expensive rates. Why India is not raising tax on our salt and still importing it? There are multiple factors underlying this cause. Firstly, the salt mined from famous Khewra (Pakistani Punjab) mines is very unique and portrayed as one of the purest and most expensive salt in the world. It is also called as white or pink gold. Due to its amazing benefits, it is being utilized all over the world as specialty foods, in aerated water bath treatments, and even home decoration. Besides it, due to its usage in health sector, it is also an important part for different religious activity especially in Hindu religion. As compared to sea salt the rationale behind being purest in nature is that it remained suppressed under snow and ice for millions of years, thus protected it from modern day pollution. The salt is now, unrefined, untouched, unprocessed, and thus bringing it as one of the purest salt on the earth. Secondly, India gets it at penny price from us. For instance, in the year 2016 India bought 625 metric tons of pink salt from Pakistan at price of 2.98 rupees per Kg and exported 15.09562metric tons salt to Korea, USA, UAE, Canada, Somalia and Spain at a price of average 125PKR/kg with its own wrapping and product name. Thirdly, India makes multiple other products from our salt and sells it to rest of the world. One more thing is also very important our salt is being sold by Israel and France as well as their product.
So all this earmarks a serious question on our current and previous exporting ministry, what these people are doing for years. They must be brought into stringent interrogation as they are exporting our precious mineral to an Anti-Pakistan country causing loss to our national exchequer. We are now waiting for the government to take necessary steps to overcome this important issue in the light of The Senate Standing Committee on Commerce & textiles suggestion. Pakistan must immediately ban exporting salt in crude form. If the agreement between two countries becomes hindrance for Pakistan, then still we have the option to export our salt as finished Pakistani labeled product. We need to establish a holistic salt approach and trade policy that goals at the global salt market and reorganizes the sector from the grass-root level to managing and utilizing our huge natural asset. The new PTI govt which reiterates for the country’s economic revival should look into this crucial matter on top priority. The facts and figures from the sources are so interesting that Pakistan can support its devastating economy by proper refining, making multiple derivative products from our salt, and then selling it according to International Market Price as Pakistani Brand. Pakistan is naturally blessed with around 10 billion tones reserves of salt having 98 percent purity. The exports of Pakistani Himalayan salt has though increased in last five year worldwide, but still it is paying less than its prospective. Pink salt is 98 % NaCl in raw form. The left over 2 percent contains also important minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sulphate, potassium, iron, zinc, chromium and copper. The extraction of salt from Khewra Salt Mine was 389,134 tons, as reported in 2018 by ministry of commerce. The predictable reserves are between 82 million tons and 600 million tons. At this speed, the mine is likely to produce salt for another 350 years. So we can earn a handsome foreign exchange from our salt industry to help our economy and elevating the standards of our people.
A lot can be said on this but tersely I request all the Pakistanis to participate in the campaign for protecting our natural treasure being wasted by the concerned authorities and to convey this message to the Prime Minister Imran Khan. #OurSaltOurAsset