On Thursday, Finance Minister Israel Katz signed an order to approve tax-free import of various vegetables into Israel until late July 2021. Katz was slammed for not enforcing such a decision earlier when it became clear that Agriculture Minister Alon Schuster had no intention of renewing it, as was done since 2015.
Instead of approving tax-free import of a wide range of produce, Schuster allowed the import of 1,000 tons of cucumbers from Jordan, provided sellers would clearly indicate their country of origin, The Marker reported.
Cucumber prices soared to 60% above their cost a week ago, red peppers leapt to 34% more and the price of tomatoes grew by 26%. This comes at a time during which hundreds of thousands of Israelis are expected to lose their jobs due to the governmental decision to enforce a three-week nationwide coronavirus lockdown starting on Friday.
According to jpost.com¸ Katz's recent decision includes the previously mentioned vegetables, as well as potatoes, according to a press release on behalf of the ministry. The decision means 45,000 tons of various vegetables will be imported to the country tax-free.