NEW DELHI: With Chinese apples affecting the profitability of domestic growers, governments of major cultivating states joined by farmers and traders have demanded raising import duty of the fruit to over 80 per cent to prevent its dumping in India.
A delegation of Horticulture Ministers of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Uttrakhand recently met Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and his Commerce and Industries counterpart Anand Sharma and sought the Centre’s intervention on the issue.
"Developed countries like China has dumped the apples in domestic markets which has led to a crash. As a result Himachal apple growers alone have suffered a loss of around Rs 100 crore during the current season", HP Horticulture Minister Narendra Bragta said.
"We urged the Central Ministers to raise import duty on apple coming from China and other foreign countries to over 80 per cent", Bragta told PTI.
The import duty on the fruit at present is 50 per cent. He said that NDA government had hiked the duty on the delicious fruit to 50 per cent in 2000-2001 on personal intervention of then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
But the current glut of imported apples has created an alarming situation which needs to be tackled on an emergency basis, he said.
China is the largest producer of apple in the world followed by India.
President of Azadpur market (Asia’s biggest wholesale market of fruits & vegetables) based Apple Merchants Association, Metharam Kriplani said rush of apples from China in the last three years has seriously dented the profits of Indian Apple growers.