New Delhi : National Conference Member of the Parliament Hasnain Masoodi on Friday raised the issues concerning the Horticulture sector in Kashmir in the Lok Sabha.
Speaking on the topic concerning the horticulture sector in Kashmir under matters of urgent public importance, Masoodi said, “Horticulture is of utmost importance for Kashmir’s economy. Almost half of Kashmir’s population is directly and indirectly related to the horticulture sector. Timely transportation of fruit to the market has always posed a challenge, for one reason or another. This year the situation became more grave. Nearly 30 lac Metric tons of fruit was produced in Kashmir this season. During the current year transportation problems of the fruit industry started manifesting as early as September, with more than 5000-6000 fruit laden trucks parked on the national highway. The multiple hold ups in the supply of fruit to the market, coupled with excess supply after the resumption of supplies, aggravated by the inflow of untaxed Iranian apples, caused a slump in the market for apples this year,” he said.
He appealed the GOI to exempt 18 percent Goods and Services Tax (GST) on cardboard boxes used to pack apples, pears and other fruits.
Asking GOI to do an objective study of the issues faced by the Kashmir horticulture sector, Masoodi said. “When we have high quality apples being produced in HP and Kashmir, I don’t understand what is the need to export apples from other countries particularly Iran. If the situation persists it can impact the livelihood of millions of people associated with the vocation directly and indirectly,” he added. (GNS)