Reduction in Washington Apple import duty fraud with Apple Growers: Naresh Chauhan

 Principal Advisor (Media) to Chief Minister Naresh Chauhan said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to reduce the import duty on Washington Apple by 20 percent during his recent visit to America is a big fraud with the state’s horticulturists.  

Addressing the Media person here today Mr Chauhan stated that the State government and Congress party strongly oppose the move and it is standing with the growers on the issue.

Mr. Chauhan termed this decision of the central government as anti-farmer and said that our government would take up this demand of increasing the import duty to 100 percent with the central government so that the interests of apple growers can be protected. 

Mr. Chouhan said that the Prime Minister had promised the people of the state in 2014 and 2019 that he would increase the import duty on apples, but today he has gone back on his promise.  

Prime Minister Modi, who considers Himachal as his second home, reducing the import duty from 70 percent to 50 percent, is against his promise to the horticulturists.

He said that Himachal Pradesh is a fruit state, which is known as the apple state and apple production has an important contribution to the country’s economy as about 7 lakh population of the state is associated with the horticulture business, while apples are grown in 6 to 7 districts of the state. The decision of the Modi government would affect one and a half lakh families who are directly involved in this business. 

 He said that apple production is a big industry in the state, which is the main means of direct or indirect employment from laborers to street vendors. 

 Taking a dig at the state BJP, he said that the BJP leaders should clarify their stand on this issue whether they are with the farmers and gardeners or against them. He said that now the Congress party and 75 lakh people of the state are keen to know what is the stand of the BJP on this issue. 

He also urged the leader of the opposition former Chief Minister Jairam Thakur and the State BJP President to talk to the Central Government at their level to end the injustice done to the gardeners. 

 Naresh Chauhan said that there has been a big increase in the prices of carton boxes in the last two years, but now their prices will come down by 11 to 23 percent, which will benefit the gardeners on a large scale and provide relief to them.  

He said that this is an important decision of State Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu on carton boxes.  

He said that the state government is well aware of the problems of farmers and gardeners, solving which is the priority of the government

  He said that this time monsoon began too early and due to heavy rains, roads and drinking water schemes have been badly damaged in the state, but Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu has instructed all the departments to be fully prepared for the rainy season. 

 He has given strict instructions to all the Deputy Commissioners including the Public Works Department to start the repair work of the damaged roads well in time so that the produce of the horticulturists could be taken to the markets.

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