Apple farmers are flaying the BJP and the Congress for not increasing the import duty on apple causing the price of Indian apple to crash. The parties have so far blamed each other for not bringing the fruit under a special category.
Lawmakers can bring the fruit out of the ambit of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), of which India is a signatory, say farmers.
The Centre had announced the increase in import duty on foreign apple to 75 per cent from 50 per cent in June, 2018, but the move never came into operation. Farmers lament that lawmakers are responsible for the plight of the apple economy.
“The import duty on apple has not increased from 50 per cent to 75 per cent as the Centre does not consider apple as a special category commodity. As a result, huge quantity of apple is imported to the Indian market from the USA and other countries that resulted in the crash of domestic apple prices,” said Rakesh Singha, president, Himachal Seb Utpadak Sangh.
It is a Lok Sabha poll issue this time as the farmers need protection of the industry, said Ashutosh Chauhan, a farmer from Kotkhai. The farmers here could not compete with the WTO countries as they enjoy advantage due to their advanced agricultural practices, he added.
“July to October is primarily the fruit season in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and J&K, all special category states,” said Laxman Thakur, a progressive farmer from Jubbal. Jubbal-Kotkhai BJP legislator Narender Bragta blamed the Congress government for putting apple in the WTO agreement.
Source :- Tribuneindia.com