60 Tons of Tax-Free Fruit, Vegetable Imports to Keep Down Pesach Prices

Mahane Yehuda market Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90
Machaneh Yehudah market. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Rain, wind, and even snow may be the weather order of the year – but even with an extra month in this year’s Hebrew calendar due to Adar Sheini, Pesach is still moving closer daily – and with it, the annual scramble by families to buy the fresh fruits and vegetables which constitute the mainstay of the week’s diet for many.

Because of demand – or because they can – fruit and vegetable sellers often raise their prices before Pesach. Not this year, said Finance Minister Moshe Kachlon. To make sure that families can afford the produce, Kachlon signed an order that would allow the importation of sixty tons of fruits and vegetables into the country, tax free. Included in the order are carrots, potatoes, celery, tomatoes, peppers, parsley, cabbage and lettuce.

Importers are invited to submit requests for exemptions to the Finance Ministry, which will examine the source of the produce to ensure that it measures up to health and quality standards. If they do, a permit to import the produce will be provided, the Ministry said.

Commenting on the move, Kachlon said that “we will not allow the development of another shortage this year, as occurred last year. Israelis deserve the opportunity to celebrate Pesach with dignity and to purchase their Yom Tov needs at reasonable prices, as they do all year.”