Shimla, June 20
Jubbal-Kotkhai MLA Rohit Thakur along with apple growers today submitted a memorandum to Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar, seeking higher import duty on apple and an increase in the support price of the fruit.
The Congress MLA said that the Rs 5,000 crore apple economy was passing through a crisis and urgently required government help. “The packaging material cost has increased by almost 40 per cent. The government should regulate the prices of packaging materials. The 18 per cent GST on packaging material needs to be reduced to provide relief to apple growers,” he added.
He said that the prices of insecticides and pesticides, which had risen drastically, also need to be controlled. “As promised, the government must enhance import duty on apple and put it in the special category product so that the apple growers do not face a stiff competition from imported fruit being sold at lower prices,” he added.
Thakur said that the support price of apple should be increased under the market intervention scheme (MIS), as the prices of various inputs such as insecticides, fungicides and packaging material had increased. “Successive Congress governments enhanced the support price for apple, the benefit of which the growers are getting even today,” he added.
He said that the government was yet to pay Rs 24.40 crore to the growers for apple procured under the MIS.
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