Yesterday, the Hill State Horticulture Forum, comprised of fruit and vegetable growers from Himachal, Uttarakhand and Jammu & Kashmir, has urged Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur to increase import duty on apples to 100 per cent. The forum also urged the minister to check illegal apple imports from Iran and other neighboring countries through Afghanistan, as these are coming in without paying any import duties.
“The import of apple through Afghanistan will prove disastrous for small and marginal fruit growers of the state. The sale of this apple in mandis meant for domestic growers have already pulled down the prices by 30 per cent to 40 per cent,” the forum officials said. “If this continues, local farmers will have no market left for their produce.”
The forum stated that the import duty on apples should be 100 per cent and the quantity of apple to be imported should be fixed to safeguard the interests of the domestic growers. “Also, the horticulture produce in these state and UTs should be brought under the MSP,” it added.