Untaxed Iranian apple fallout | ‘3 crore apple boxes lying unsold in Kashmir’

Untaxed Iranian apple fallout | ‘3 crore apple boxes lying unsold in Kashmir’
The fruit growers have demanded the imposition of 100 percent import duty on the arrival of Iranian Apple to this country. [Image for representational purpose only]File/ GK

Srinagar: As the illegal dumping of Iranian apples to India has wreaked havoc with the fruit sector here, the Kashmir-based fruit growers have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention to safeguard the interests of local farmers.

An apex body of fruit growers and dealers of Kashmir in its communiqué to Prime Minister Modi has narrated the sordid tale of losses they are incurring due to the illegal import of Iranian apples into Indian markets thereby resulting in a dip in demand for local apple produce as a result of which over 3 crore apple boxes are lying unsold in Kashmir division.

“Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Cum Dealers Union is an apex body of all fruit growers associations of Kashmir. Your good self is well aware that India is one of the world’s largest producers of Apple and about 70 percent of households in the UT of J&K are directly and indirectly dependent on this sector. Apple industry is the backbone of economies of both J&K (UT) and Himachal Pradesh,” reads a letter addressed to PM Modi.

“There are more than 1.50 crore boxes of apple produce stored in different cold stores and similarly, there are additional 1.50 crore boxes of apple in godowns which belongs to small and marginal growers who expect that after the harvesting season is over, the produce stored will fetch reasonable process in the market.

“.... we would like to bring into your kind notice that several fruit traders import and dump Iranian apples arriving via Afghanistan/Dubai in our country and this situation have put the whole of our fruit industry both in J&K (UT) and Himachal Pradesh in a very precarious situation as it has eaten away our share in the market.”

“This illegal and unlawful dumping of Iranian apples in our country is not only disastrous for small and marginal growers of J&K (UT)/ Himachal Pradesh but also result in huge losses to State Exchequer. We requested our good self to impose a ban to restrict the arrival of Iranian apple via Afghanistan/Dubai in our country in order to save the Horticulture Industry of UT of J&K and Himachal Pradesh as well.

The fruit growers have demanded the imposition of 100 percent import duty on the arrival of Iranian Apple to this country.

Speaking to Greater Kashmir, President of the Union, Bashir Ahmad Basheer said that “ We have urged the PM Modi to intervene and save Kashmir’s fruit industry which is on verge of collapse. Over 3 crore apple boxes are lying unsold in Kashmir, farmers are worried as cheap Iranian apples have flooded the markets which resulted in a dip of over 50 percent in demand of Kashmiri apples and our fruit is currently fetching much lesser prices in comparison to last year.”

Greater Kashmir
www.greaterkashmir.com