Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister to Write to Prime Minister Seeking Increase in Import Duty on Foreign Apples

Shimla: Naresh Chauhan, the media advisor to Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Thakur Sukhwinder Sukhu, announced on Friday that the Chief Minister intends to write a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to increase the import duty on foreign apples, especially Washington apples. The recent reduction in import duty on Washington apples by the Indian government has prompted this demand.

“We also demand the PM and the Union government to increase the import duty. The Chief Minister will write a letter to the PM and take up the matter. We also appeal to the BJP and the leader of the Opposition Jai Ram Thakur to take up the issue. We want to know if the former CM is with apple farmers or with the union government,” stated Naresh in an interview with ANI on Friday.

Himachal Pradesh is renowned as an apple state, with the highest apple production in the country. Approximately 1.5 lakh families or nearly seven lakh people in seven districts of the state are involved in the apple business, either directly or indirectly. The state government aims to prioritize the growth of this industry to prevent population migration. The horticulture sector generates an economy of around five to six thousand crore rupees.

According to the Media Advisor to the CM, “In 2014, he (PM Modi) promised to promote apple farming and increase the import duty to 100 percent. However, our apples cannot compete with imported apples in the market.” He further expressed disappointment, saying, “He (PM Modi) also talked about the same in 2019. But during his visit to the US, he reduced the import duty on Washington apples from 70 percent to 50 percent. This is very disappointing for the apple farmers in the state.”

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