Sharp depreciation of the rupee against the US dollar has impacted imports from Pakistan through Attari-Wagah land route with traders cutting down on buying commodities fearing heavy losses.
With rupee showing no signs of stability against the dollar, panic-gripped importers are suffering losses on imports of dry fruits, cement and gypsum.
"We now fear placing new orders for import in the wake of sharp depreciation of rupee against the US dollar. We do not know what will be the new rate at the time of payment as the rupee is continuously weakening despite the efforts by the Centre," Amritsar-based Federation of Dry Fruits Association's President Anil Mehra told PTI.
As the new season begins for import of dry fruits from the neighbouring country, importers have scaled down its quantity by over 80 per cent because of weak rupee.
"At this time, 2.5 lakh bags (70 kg each bag) of dry fruits and dates should have been imported if we go by past trends. But so far, only 40,000 bags have been imported from Pakistan," Mehra said.
The season for import of dry dates and dry fruits starts from July-end which goes on till March. It is estimated that more than 15 lakh bags of dry fruits including almond, fig, raisins, etc, are imported annually from Pakistan.
Stating that it has become unsustainable to carry out import business in view of rupee depreciation, traders said, "record volatility in foreign exchange will hit the bilateral trade between India and Pakistan."
Financial transactions between traders of Pakistan and India through Attari-Wagah route is carried out in US currency.
Traders mainly import dry fruits, cement, gypsum and chemicals from Pakistan worth over Rs 1,000 crore per annum, an importer said.
"The number of truckloads carrying items such as cement, gypsum from Pakistan has dropped to just 30-40 trucks a day as against average 70-80 a truck a day normal," said another importer Jaspal Singh.
"We are curtailing import and waiting for rupee stabilisation as it is not feasible to import at this point of time," he added.
The rupee has depreciated over 13 per cent against US dollar since start of the current fiscal.