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Irked with Iranian apple, JKPICCA, FGA visit Delhi, Amritsar

President JKPICCA, Majid Aslam Wafai and President Fruit Growers Association, Mohammad Ashraf Wani made the visit to make the concerned traders and officials aware of the damage the ‘illegal’ import of the Iranian apple was causing to the apple indust

Post by on Friday, February 12, 2021

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Srinagar, Feb 12: Concerned about the “illegal” import of Iranian apples via Afghanistan into the fruit mandis of New Delhi, the Presidents of the Jammu and Kashmir Fruit & Vegetable Processing & Integrated Cold Chain Association (JKPICCA) and the Fruit Growers Association (FGA), Shopian have visited the mandis of Amritsar and Delhi and met with fruit dealers, officials and politicians.

President JKPICCA, Majid Aslam Wafai and President Fruit Growers Association, Mohammad Ashraf Wani made the visit to make the concerned traders and officials aware of the damage the ‘illegal’ import of the Iranian apple was causing to the apple industry. The associations have been alleging that the Iranian apples are being imported to India via Afghanistan to avoid paying import duties and are causing huge losses to the indeginous apple industry. 

While talking to Rising Kashmir, President Fruit Growers Association Shopian, Ashraf Wani said that they have raised their concerns with various politicians and administrative officials about the illegal trade being run under the cover of the Indo-Afghan Trade Pact.

“The certificates of origin and phytosanitary certificates for these apples are being forged. We met with custom officials and briefed them about the issue. We also went to Delhi to meet the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Chairman regarding unlawful sale of this apple, as Azadpur Mandi is meant for the sale of only domestic produce," he said. 

He added that they also met the Joint Secretary, Commerce, Amitabh Kumar, who he said assured them of proper action. 

"We even met the Delhi Legislative Assembly Speaker to brief him about the issue. The import and trade of Iranian apples had been stopped in the past. But it is rearing its head again. This is worrisome for the apple growers of the valley, as it is bringing down the prices as well as giving out apples a bad name," the Presidents of the Associations said.

They said that Kashmir’s apple industry accounts for three quarters of the total apple produce in India, and supports the livelihood of over 33 lakh people in JK. “This illegal import and sale of the foreign apples is causing losses to the industry of not only Kashmir, but Himachal Pradesh as well.”

India and Afghanistan have a zero-import duty agreement, and the apples brought via Afghanistan are therefore not taxed.

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