Himachal Government has sought special product status to apple fruit from Central Government to save it from onslaught of the imported apples which has flooded the Indian markets at present. The demand was made by Himachal Horticulture Minister Narinder Bragta in a meeting with officials of the Commerce Ministry at New Delhi yesterday to find out the ways and means to protect the indigenous crop varieties in the domestic markets and seek further scope for export in the International Market.
He said that apple alone generate economy of around Rs. 2500 crore per annum in the State and it is the main fruit product of State which is sold in the National market throughout the country with brand Himachal. He also raised the issue of increase of the custom duty on the imported apples from present 50% to 80% and added that custom duty was raised from 30% to 50% during the NDA regime which had benefitted the small apple growers to maximum extent. He said that he has briefed about this issue to the Member Parliament of Himachal Pradesh for taking up the matter at various levels in Central Government and also raise the issue in the Parliament.