Srinagar: In the wake of an increasing trend of cheaper Iran-origin apples making their way to Delhi’s fruit markets through via Afghanistan, Kashmiri apple growers and traders have now written to Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, asking for her ministry’s intervention.
This latest latter from Kashmir apple farmers comes a day after they wrote to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asking for his intervention in restraining large-scale dumping of Iran-origin apples in Delhi’s fruit mantis.
In view of a variety of new apples suddenly making their way to Delhi’s mandis, farmers who have despoiled their apple consignments in Kashmir-based cold stores are deeply worried about the cost implication for them.
Ziraat Times here reproduces the letter written (unedited) by Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Cum Dealers Union and the New Kashmir Fruit Association to the Finance Minister.
Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman
Hon’ble Finance Minister, Govt of India
This Union is called “Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Cum Dealers Union” with its Head Office at New Fruit Marketing Complex Parimpora Srinagar. This Union is an Elected Apex Body of all Fruit Growers Associations of the Valley.
It is known fact that the Agriculture Sector contribute 70% to National Economy and nearby 80% of rural population of State directly or indirectly is dependent on Horticulture/Agriculture Income. You are also aware that Agriculture Sector in general and Horticulture in particular has witnessed unprecedented upheavals during last few years both on Natural as well as Political fronts.
Iranian Apple via Afghanistan are imported by various Traders and illegal sale thereof is made in New Sabzi Mandi Azadpur Delhi taking the benefit from it due to this fact that there is zero import duty agreement between Indian Government and Afghanistan severely hitting our business badly. This elusive and evasive activity to defeat the realization of taxes has a direct negative impact on apple Fruit Industry of Northern India in general and UT of J&K in particular. The said evasion being against the parameters of Commercial and constitutional morality needs to be checked in time to up hold the hygiene and transparency in the Merchandize.
It may be pertinent to add it here that 22 Lac Metric tons of apple crop is produced exclusively in Kashmir Valley. In the year 2019 the apple export witnessed at dip of around 1 Lac Metric tons in the wake of natural snow calamity of 6-7 November 2019 and post 05 August 2019 situation. The crises for Valley Based Fruit Growers/Dealers mostly worsened on November 07 2019 with snow calamity when fruit bearing trees got uprooted or cracked under the weight of 3 to 5 ft. snow causing heavy losses to Valley Based Fruit Growers/ Dealers.
The illegal sale of Iranian apple arrives in the name of Afghanistan in New Sabzi Mandi Azadpur Delhi badly hamper the Valley Based Produced Apple/Himachal Produced apple causing additional heavy losses to Fruit Growers /Dealers of the Country.
Imposition of ban to restrict entry of Iranian apple via Afghanistan and its illegal sale is, therefore, very essential in order to save the Fruit Growers of the Valley/ Himachal Pradesh from Further losses.
Under the circumstances explained above your goodself is accordingly requested kindly look into the matter personally and direct all concerned authorities for immediate banning of entry of imported Iranian apple in the name of Afghanistan in our Country and its proxy sale at New Sabzi Mandi Azadpur Delhi so that the Fruit Growers of the Valley and Himachal Pradesh as well may feel a sigh of relief.
With great regards,
Bashir Ahmad Basheer
Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Cum Dealers Union
The New Kashmir Fruit Association