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NC expresses dismay over removal of duties on US apple, walnuts, almond imports

Ziraat Times News Network

Srinagar, 11 Sept: The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Monday expressed dismay over removal of additional duties on Apple, walnuts, almond imports from USA, saying the measure will directly hit the interests of the horticulture industry in Kashmir.

Voicing concern over the decision Party’s Horticulture and Agriculture Committee Chairman Javed Dar said that slashing the additional duties on apples, walnuts in shells, and fresh or dried almonds, as well as shelled almonds to be imported from America will have direct bearing on Kashmir fruit growers as all these products, which are locally grown and produced, will suffer huge losses.

“The quantum of cheap apples & dry fruits entering India from the US will eat into the market share of the Kashmiri produce as a result of which the growers will suffer huge economic losses. The local fruit industry is already facing stiff challenges due to the weather vagaries, road blockages, dearth of cold storage facilities, escalating production cost and much more. The industry is no longer delivering good returns, making the business unviable for as the imported fruits will see for a much cheaper price. The horticulture sector in Kashmir has already lost momentum due to the failure of the government to address  concerns of the growers. The decision will further push them to the wall,” he said.

Javed asked the government to rationalize the fruit imports from the US in order to protect the vital financial interests of the local growers.

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