Mandi, September 12
Congress national general secretary Priyanka Gandhi along with Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu today visited disaster-hit areas of Mandi and Kullu districts and interacted with people.
Apple import duty cut to hit farmers
The Central Government has reduced import duty on Washington apple, which will directly affect the horticulturalists of the state, thereby causing more losses to them. The Central Government should also think about the welfare of the farmers and horticulturalists of the state.
Priyanka Gandhi, Congress General Secretary
The two leaders visited the Sangam bridge on the confluence of the Parvati and Beas rivers at Bhuntar and the potato ground at Manali in Kullu district and Deuri village in Mandi that were devastated by heavy rain in July and August. The rain-hit people narrated their woes to Priyanka and sought their immediate rehabilitation.
Priyanka, while interacting with mediapersons at Manali, lauded the efforts of the people of the state who had voluntarily contributed towards the Aapda Rahat Kosh. She also lauded the efforts of the Chief Minister and his Cabinet colleagues, who were on the spot for more than three days to monitor relief and rescue operations. “The state government has done far beyond its limited resources to provide succour to the affected families. However, without the assistance of the Union Government, it is rather difficult to perform restoration work, besides provide aid to people,” she said.
Priyanka said, “During such difficult times, the Central Government should not discriminate against states on party lines. It becomes the duty of the Union Government to provide aid in such circumstances, considering the scale of the disaster. The Central Government should declare the calamity as a national disaster and immediately provide help to the affected people.”
She criticised the Central Government for reducing import duty on US apple. She said, “The farmers and horticulturalists of the state have suffered enormous losses and the Central Government should pay heed to their plight. Some big industrial houses, dealing in fruit marketing, have reduced the price of the apple, thereby causing losses to horticulturalists.”
Congress in-charge for Himachal Rajiv Shukla, HPCC president Pratibha Singh, PWD Minister Vikramaditya Singh, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Sunder Singh Thakur and MLAs Bhuvneshwar Gaur and Ravi Thakur accompanied Priyanka in Kullu. Former ministers Kaul Singh Thakur and Prakash Chaudhary accompanied her in Mandi.
On the way to Mandi, Priyanka interacted with some women, who are voluntarily helping in the reconstruction of roads. She appreciated their commitment in extending a helping hand in the time of crisis.
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