Srinagar, Dec 26: Kashmir fruit growers and dealers have requested Union Agriculture Minister to fix the prices of spray oil products in Jammu and Kashmir at par with Himachal Pradesh.
In their letter, Kashmir’s struggling fruit industry’s growers and dealers have raised a number of related economic and taxation issues that they believe could help alleviate the current crisis in production costs. They express their concern for the rising input costs, particularly the rates of the various spray oils.
“With great respect and humble submission the Management of this Union, Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Cum Dealers Union Srinagar which is an elected apex body of all fruit growers associations would like to inform your goodself that the entire Horticulture Industry of J&K (UT) has been consistent with the usage of spray oils in the growth process of these products. These spray oils have become a part and parcel of the growth process, and fruit growers have grown trust in these spray oil brands such as Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), Indian Oil Corporation Limited (OICL) and Bharat Petroleum Limited (BPL) Spray Oil and several other HMO products due to their longevity and sustained importance in this Industry,” reads a letter addressed to Union Agriculture Minister.
“These companies are the Public Sector Undertakings which has further solidified the trust in them from the growers. The usage of such spray oils, in turn, has enabled us to almost completely eradicate fruit diseases especially “SAN JOSE SCALE” and “RED MITE” which were previously a measure concern for the Horticulture Industry of J&K (UT).”
“Pertinently, the Horticulture Industry of J&K (UT) is the biggest Industry in J&K (UT) and we are not, therefore, in a position to take any sort of risks which may potentially harm this Industry. If we stop the usage of spray oils, such diseases will inevitably return and no one will be able to take responsibility in that scenario.”
“In direct comparison, in the only other State where spray oils are used, i.e. Himachal Pradesh, the same companies as mentioned above under the same environment are providing Rs 20-30 cheaper per litre. In fact, the sole reason is the active involvement of the concerned Government Authorities in maintaining the pressure on these Public Sector Undertaking Companies. We had repeatedly requested the Governor’s administration to pressurize these companies to slash down their rates and at least at par with those of Himachal Pradesh so that Valley Based Fruit Growers/ Dealers may not face any Financial losses on this account,” the letter reads.
“So far as Insecticides, Pesticides, Fungicides and Fertilizers are concerned it is reported that the Manufacturers are enhancing the rates of these products which needs to be looked into well in advance. In this connection, your goodself is requested kindly have a meeting with the manufacturers of these products well in advance of a spray of these products for the purpose of making the availability of the quality type of insecticides, pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers with sufficient quantity in all districts of the Valley against reasonable rates.”
Under the Circumstances explained above your goodself is requested that the rates of TSO and other Petroleum products may kindly be fixed for J&K (UT) at par with Himachal Pradesh,” the letter states.