SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Peoples’ Conference (JKPC) President Sajad Gani Lone expressed profound concern regarding the recent relaxation of customs duty on apple imports into India and said that the decision will have a devastating impact on Kashmir apple growers.
“The relaxation of customs duty on Apples is going to hit the apple growers badly. The horticulturists in the valley have been struggling for the last three decades. Allowing its free entry into the Indian market will be catastrophic for apple growers in Kashmir and also in the rest of the country”, he said in a statement issued to press.
He further said that the gravity of the situation becomes apparent when one considers that the Indian market, already devoid of subsidies or assistance for its local growers, is now opening its doors to customs duty-free imports from a nation that provides substantial subsidies to its own apple industry.
“Hope the government knows that the American apple growers are provided huge subsidies by their government. The apple growers, in India, have never seen any direct efforts of assistance or subsidies from the government,” he said.
PC President fervently hoped that the government reevaluates this decision and reinstates customs duties. “Hope the decision is changed and custom duties are levied again”, he concluded.