PDF Chief demands Re-introduction of MIS , waiver of KCC loans to save farmers from financial distress, Also seeks Reduction in import duty on Washington apple detrimental to fruit industry
Srinagar: Chairman Jammu & Kashmir Peoples Democratic Front (J&KPDF) and former Minster Hakeem Muhammad Yaseen has expressed concern over the deteriorating condition of fruit industry in jammu and kashmir , due to back to back unfaourable market conditions and the prevailing draught like conditions . He has urged the government to immediately re-introduce Market Intervention Scheme ( MIS ) and also waive off Kissan credit loans of the fruit growers to save them for eminent financial cricis .
In a statement issued on Friday Hakeem while expressing concern over multiple unfavourable challenges confronting fruit industry in jammu and kashmir , has urged the government to announce relief measures for fruite growers and traders . He said fruit growers have received severe finanacial set back due to low remunerative prices of thier produce in the market last year adding that adequate rehabilitation measures were needed to protect livelihood of the fruit growers and traders . He said fruit industry, which provides livelihood to about 25 lack persons, directly or indirectly , assumes a pivotal significance in economic stability of Jammu and Kashmir as it substantially contributes approximately eight per cent to the state’s GDP. “ So it was incumbent upon the government to support the apple industry through a comprehensive array of measures, encompassing free distribution of agriculture inputs ,waiver of agriculture loans , subsidy on fruit packaging material , freight subsidy on export of fruit and much needed re- introduction of MIS immediately ,Hakeem maintained adding that “ If these measures were not announced immediately , nothing can protect the JK fruit industry from a catastrophic economic breakdown. He said fruit industry was confronted with enumerating challenges like escalating costs of labour, fertilizers, sprays, apple packaging boxes ,higher transport charges and interest on agriculture loans . PDF Chairman also demanded roll back of the central government decision to reduce import duty on Washington apple, adding that reduction of the extra 20% import duty on Washington Apples has caused a sense of grief among the fruit growers as the decision would inflict a devastating blow not only to the financial position of the fruit growers of Kashmir but to the indigenous farmers of Himachal Pradesh also. He said reduction on import duty on foreign apples has cast a shadow of apprehension upon the livelihoods of fruit growers and traders . He said kashmiri apples have garnered immense popularity in both local and global markets due its flavour, sweetness and unparalleled quality but central government’s decision to reduce the import duty on Washington apple would undoubtedly land it in stiff competition ,thereby affecting the business of local fruit growers and traders . “Under these circumstances, government should come forward in a big way to save the fruit industry in Jammu and Kashmir ,Hakeem Yaseen demanded.