BJP ignored apple growing belts, Himachal Cong chief says


“The irresponsible and indifferent attitude of the government of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has put the government financed by the World Bank ??The 1,134 crore horticultural development plan presented by the then congressional government in 2016 is in jeopardy, ”former chief parliamentary secretary and congressman Rohit Thakur said on Sunday.

He said it was because of BJP government policies that the World Bank reduced the cost of the project to ??1,066 crores.

Thakur alleged that Horticultural Minister Mahender Singh Thakur had in the past fueled the politics of regionalism by calling the project the “apple belt project”.

“Now when the farmers reap its profits, the BJP asks for credit,” he added.

As part of the horticultural development project, the Parala fruit processing plant and the new CA store were donated by Congress. Thakur said that an amount of ??91.20 crore is spent on the Parala fruit processing plant as part of the horticulture development project.

Likewise, six CA stores of the HPMC, apple grading and packing centers are being upgraded as part of the project by spending ??16.48 crores.

He alleged that the BJP government canceled three CA stores approved for the Jubbal-Kotkhai assembly segment as part of the “small policies” project.

Thakur said the BJP is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the formation of the state and despite the presence of two great leaders from the Himachal Center, the Modi government is determined to weaken the ??5,000 crore apple saving of the state.

He said that during the 2014 and 2019 elections in Lok Sabha, the BJP talked about granting special product category status to apples and tripling the import duties on them.

Contrary to this, the Center reduced import duties on apples by 15%, which was a big blow to apple growers.

He said he was concerned about the sharp drop in apple prices in recent days. “Farmers are not even able to recoup the cost of the inputs on the apple due to the lower prices,” he said.

Thakur said the BJP government had failed to control the prices of apple packaging materials.

Cardboard factories have increased prices for apple packaging materials by up to 25% this time over last year.

He also asked for help for apple growers whose crops have been affected by hail.

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