Developed countries like China had dumped the apples in domestic market - Anand Sharma
Himachal Pradesh Government today requested the Central Government to enhance the import duty on apple fruits to safeguard the interests of apple growers of Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand , Jammu & Kashmir and North-Eastern States. Shri Narinder Bragta, Horticulture Minister called on Union Commerce and Industries Minister Shri Anand Sharma at New Delhi today and said that developed countries like China had dumped the apples in domestic market which has crashed the apple market as a result of which the Himachal apple growers alone has suffered a loss of around Rs. 100 crore during current apple season.
He said that NDA Government had increased the import duty on apples to the level of 50% in the year 2000-2001 on personal intervention of the then Prime Minister Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee on the request of Himachal Chief Minister, Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal but the current onslaught of imported apples has created alarming situation which needed to be tackled on emergency basis. He requested the Union Government to designate the apple as "Special Product" to protect the interests of apple growers.
Shri Narinder Bragta told the Union Commerce and Industries Minister that around 6 lakh Metric Tonnes apple production per annum is recorded in the State which accounts for more than 80% of total fruit production of the State. He said that apple fruit is grown in nine districts, out of total 12 districts of the State and around 1.6 lakh families are dependent on apple cultivation. He said that apple production in the State ranges from 6.5 M.T to 8 M.T per hectare due to small land holdings and adverse weather conditions while around 40 M.T per hectare production is recorded in advanced countries due to plain land and extensive use of farm mechanization.
He requested the Union Government to intervene immediately into the matter so as to save the economic interests of the apple growing families in the hilly States.
Shri Anand Sharma appreciated the issue raised by State Government and ensured positive action of Central Government in this regard.