The Horticulture Produce Marketing and Processing Corporation (HPMC) has drafted a proposal to buy nearly 5 mln cartons this season after the state government decision to bear the increased six per cent GST on cartons.
“We have sent a proposal to the government to buy around 5 mln cartons, so that maximum growers can avail of the GST discount being offered by the government. The Cabinet will take the final decision on it,” said HPMC General Manager Hitesh Azad.
With the cost of the cartons going up due to increase in the GST rate from 12 to 18 per cent and the subsequent protest by growers, the government discussed the issue in the last cabinet meeting and decided to bear the enhanced GST on cartons sold through HPMC outlets.
Apple growers, however, are not impressed, and are calling it a gimmick. “How many growers buy cartons from HPMC? Mostly it’s the growers who have their MIS payment stuck with the agency,” said Lokender Bisht, president of the Progressive Growers Association. “The HPMC sells cartons at a price higher than the market price. Even after six per cent GST rebate, it will cost nearly as much as in the open market. So why would a grower buy cartons from the HPMC?” Bisht asked.