PM promised to hike import duty on apples but did nothing: HP Cong

  • 09-Apr-2019
  • PM promised to hike import duty on apples but did nothing: HP Cong

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised to increase the import duty on apples before the last Lok Sabha elections but he did nothing about it in the last five years, Himachal Congress president Kuldeep Singh Rathore alleged Monday.

Accusing BJP governments at the Centre and the state of ignoring the apple growers' interests, Rathore said Modi had made the promise while addressing a rally in Solan five years ago.

The prime minister had promised to increase the import duty on apples to benefit the apple growers of Himachal Pradesh but his government opened ports instead to import apples, he alleged.

The import of apples in large quantity reduced the rates of domestic apples, adversely affecting the apple growers in the state, he said.

Talking to mediapersons, Rathore also accused Jai Ram Thakur-led BJP government of withdrawing an ambitious Rs 1,134 crore World Bank-funded project, launched by previous Congress government in 2016 to enhance the income of apple growers.

"The apple growers in Himachal Pradesh grow four to five tons of apples in one hectare while 50 to 60 tons of apples are grown in the same land in Europe," he said.

The Congress government had launched the World Bank-funded project to provide new technology to apple growers to increase their produce at par with European countries, he added.

Accusing Modi of being the "biggest liar" in the country, Rathore said the BJP leaders should have first informed the public what promises they had made in their last manifesto and how many of them were fulfilled.

Rathore said the BJP has again included in its manifesto the issues of Ram Mandir construction and abrogation of Article 370. It should inform the nation what stopped it to fulfil these promises made in its manifesto before the last Lok Sabha elections.

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