Srinagar, Sep 12: Senior Apni Party's leader and General Secretary, Rafi Ahmad Mir, expressed grave concern on Tuesday over the Union Government's decision to remove additional duties on apples, walnuts, and almonds imported from the United States (US).
He said that this move would adversely impact apple and walnut growers in Kashmir, as well as growers in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
In his statement, Mir urged the Union Government to reconsider its decision, and said, “The Central Government must take into consideration the reality that Kashmir's fruit growers have been grappling with significant losses, especially since August 2019. Removing the additional taxes on imported apples and walnuts from the US would have a devastating effect on local growers in J&K.”
He added, “The government must realize that the fruit industry is a backbone of J&K's economy, and hundreds of thousands of people are directly or indirectly dependent on this industry for their livelihood. Abolishing taxes on US apples and walnuts would simply flood the market with cheaper imports, directly impacting the livelihoods of individuals connected to the fruit industry in Kashmir and other parts of the country.”
He appealed to the central government to revoke its decision in favour of domestic growers and dealers.