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Over 100 apple growers court arrest in Shimla

Chandigarh News : More than 100 farmers, particularly apple growers, under the banner of the Sanyukt Kisan Manch courted arrest at the police control room on the Mall Road, Shimla, on Wednesday.

In view of ‘Jail Bharo Andolan’ from August 17, more than 100 farmers, particularly apple growers, under the banner of the Sanyukt Kisan Manch courted arrest at the police control room on the Mall Road, Shimla, on Wednesday.

Farmers have urged the government to fulfil 20 demands that they have submitted in their charter during their talks with the chief minister on July 28.

The farmers are demanding the complete rollback of the GST on the apple packaging material, including cartons and trays. The government, however, has announced to give 6% subsidy on cartons. Farmers’ organisation has stressed upon the government to ease out the formalities for availing subsidies. Those arrested today included the convener of then manch Harish Chauhan, co-convener Sanjay Chauhan, Theogh legislator Rakesh Singha and the head of the Kisan Sabha and senior CPI (M) leader Kuldeep Tanwar. The farmers staged a sit-in in front of the police control room on the mall road. They were later taken to the Police station in Boiluagnaj. “Whatsoever may be our fate, we will continue to struggle till all our demands are not met,” said the convenor of the manch, Harish Chauhan.

Growers are demanding MSP for apple in the analogy of Kashmir where support prices are fixed in accordance with the quality of apples at 60 per kg, 44 and 24 for Grade A, B and C.

Apple contributes to 13.5 % of the top states’ GDP and is a 6,000-crore economy. Growers are demanding an increase in the MSP in the analogy of Kashmir, restoration of subsidies on fungicides, insecticides and other chemical fertilisers, reduction of the GST on packaging material and a ban on foreign apples. The government has been also demanding a ban on the import of foreign apples. The union representatives also urged the government to increase the import duty on apples to 100%, strictly implement the Agriculture Produce Marketing (Regulation) Act, 2005, and clear the pending dues of farmers.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by GOVT.in staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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