Apple from Himachal has for long been the best selling fruit in the country, but thanks to the Government’s stance on free trade across the border, now the Chinese apple is giving a stiff competition to the Himachali apple. Apple being imported from China is hampering the prices of the Himachali apple drastically, which is a big letdown for the Apple growers in the State, who are already on the back foot owning to the bad weather and awful roads.
The Himachal Government has expressed concern over the issue and had approached the Union Government officials including Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma for the same (who have found it easy to remain silent). The State Government has demanded the Center to impose custom duty on the import of the apple from China, but the Union Government has sidelined the demand saying that they are unable to do so as they are bound by the norms of World Trade Organization.
But opposing the Central Government’s stance, Chetan Singh Bragta, BJYM National Executive said ‘the Government can impose duty on apple import by declaring it as a special protection product.’
Union Minister for Agriculture Sharad Powar has assured Himachal Government that some suitable steps will be taken with regard to their demands, but if the center fails in the endeavor, BJYM has then proposed to protest against it in Shimla and Kinnaur.