ShimlaOne hour ago
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Himachal Congress State President Pratibha Singh has made a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the pretext of Washington Apple. He said that PM Modi is not worried about the gardeners of the country, he is worried about the apples of America.
Apple orchards of gardeners in Himachal have been destroyed due to heavy rains, floods and landslides. In such a situation they need help. But the central government is making them worried by reducing the import duty on Washington Apple. Pratibha Singh said that reducing the import duty will destroy the apple industry of Himachal.
However, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has issued a press note and clarified that the import duty on Washington Apple has been reduced from 70 percent to 50 percent. But Congress leaders Priyanka Gandhi and Supriya Shrinet have claimed to reduce it from 50 percent to 15 percent. If this is done then Himachal’s apples will not find buyers in the country’s market.
Wanting to destroy the gardeners: Sohan
President of Apple Farmer Federation of India, Sohan Thakur said that Prime Minister Modi is trying to ruin the apple growers of the country. A large quantity of apples are exported to Bangladesh from Jammu Kashmir and Himachal. The Prime Minister has imposed 100 percent export duty on this and the import duty on apples imported for the country is being reduced.
He said that earlier it was reduced from 70 percent to 50 percent. Now there are preparations to increase it to 15 percent. Due to this, the livelihood of thousands of families in Himachal will be snatched away from them. He said that before becoming Prime Minister, Narendra Modi had promised 100 percent import duty on apples. Far from fulfilling the promise, Narendra Modi is also abolishing the already imposed import duty.
Apple industry will be ruined: Bisht
Progressive Growers Association (PGA) President Lokendra Bisht said that if the import duty on Washington Apple is increased to 15 percent, it will ruin the apple business in Himachal, Kashmir and Uttarakhand. Especially when the cost of production in the mountains has increased manifold. At the same time, developed countries like America are giving subsidies to encourage farming and horticulture.
Contribution of more than Rs 6000 crore to GDP
Progressive gardener Ashutosh Chauhan said that by reducing the import duty, the gardeners of the state will be forced to commit suicide. Due to this, the apple industry which contributes more than Rs 6000 crore to Himachal’s GDP will be destroyed. People from industries that employ thousands of people will run for jobs.
These government figures are the reason for the concern of gardeners
After this news, the worries of the gardeners have started increasing. The reason for their concern is the figures of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. According to the ministry, in the year 2017-18, when the import duty on Washington Apple was 50%, 1,27,908 metric tonnes of Apple was imported from Washington to India.
In the year 2018, import duty on apple was increased to 70%. After this, in the financial year 2022-23, the import of apples from Washington reduced to only 4,486 tonnes. That means after increasing the import duty from 50 to 70 percent, the import of apples reduced by 29 times. When it reduces to 15%, apple imports will increase manifold.
This is why the gardeners of Himachal are in danger
The gardeners of Himachal are currently producing seven to eight metric tons of apples per hectare, whereas in Washington, 60 to 70 metric tons of apples are being produced per hectare. Due to low production in Himachal, currently the cost price per kg is around Rs 25 to 26 and after the increase in apple imports, the demand for Himachal apples will end in the country’s markets.