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Himachal CM to write to Centre demanding increased import duty on Washington apples

Shimla: Naresh Chauhan, media advisor to the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, on Friday said that CM Thakur Sukhwinder Sukhu is going to write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and keep forward a demand to increase the import duty on the foreign apples, especially on Washington apples on which recently the import duty was reduced by the Indian government.

"We also demand the PM and the Union government to increase the import duty. The Chief Minister will write a letter to the PM and take up the matter. We also appeal to the BJP and the leader of the Opposition Jai Ram Thakur to take up the issue. We want to know if the former CM is with apple farmers or with the union government," Naresh told ANI on Friday. "Himachal Pradesh is popular as an apple state. The highest apple production of apples is from Himachal Pradesh. In seven districts of the state, 1.5 lakh families or nearly seven Lakh people are involved in the apple business. People are directly or indirectly involved in the Apple Industry," Chauhan said.

"Our priority is to grow this industry, the government doesn't want the population to migrate. Nearly five to six Thousand crore economy is generated from horticulture," he added.

"In 2014, he (PM Modi) promised to promote apple farming and that the import duty will be increased to 100 per cent. Our apples can't compete in the market with imported apples," Media Advisor to the CM said.

"He (PM Modi) also talked about the same in 2019. But during his visit to the US, he reduced the import duty of Washington apples from 70 per cent to 50 per cent. This is very disappointing for the apple farmers in the state," he added. 

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