New Delhi : A Committee would be constituted headed by the Chief Secretary to check exploitation of horticulturists by the traders, private CA store owners and others at various levels. This was stated by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while presiding over the meeting with representatives of fruit growers Association and line departments of the State Government regarding apple season-2022 here today.
The Chief Minister said that the apple economy of the State was worth about Rs. 5000 crore and was a major contributor in the State’s GDP. He said that it has been felt that apple growers were being exploited at different levels thus the committee would look into the matter which would have Additional Chief Secretary Finance, Principal Secretary State Taxes and Excise, Secretaries Agriculture and Horticulture as its members besides representatives of various farmers Associations.
Jai Ram Thakur said that in order to provide relief to the orchardists/fruit growers, the State Government has decided to give a 6 percent subsidy on purchase of package material i.e. cartons and trays sold through HPMC with effect from 15th July, 2022. The HPMC would be given a grant of Rs. 10 crore in this regard, he added.
The Chief Minister said that efforts would be made to clear the pending liabilities of the horticulturists. He also asked the concerned authorities to look into the matter of collection of taxes/charges levied at various barriers.
Jai Ram Thakur said that the Government would also consider sympathetically regarding the constitution of the Horticulture Board for welfare of the horticulturists of the State. He also urged the horticulturists to form cooperatives for establishing CA stores and also for availing the benefits of various schemes. He said that the State Government has increased the MIS procurement of the apple from Rs. 7.50 to Rs. 10.50 per kg during the tenure of the present State Government.
Horticulture Minister Mahender Singh Thakur, Urban Development Minister Suresh Bhardwaj, Education Minister Govind Singh Thakur, MLA Chopal Balbir Verma, MLA Theog Rakesh Singha and former Mayor Shimla Municipal Corporation Sanjay Chauhan and other progressive fruit growers gave their valuable suggestions on the occasion.
President H.P. Fruit Growers Association Harish Chauhan urged the Chief Minister to sympathetically consider various issues pertaining to the welfare of the horticulturists.
Secretary Horticulture Amitabh Avasthi conducted the proceedings of the meeting.
Chief Secretary R.D. Dhiman, Additional Chief Secretary Prabodh Saxena, Principal Secretaries, Secretaries and other senior officers attended the meeting.