SHimla (Aug 6): Shimla district Committee of Himachal Kisan Sabha has condemned the state government for it’s alleged failure to regulate the prices of cartons and other packing material selling them through HPMC and other government agencies to the apple growers at higher price than available in open market.
In a statement released today, Sanjay Chauhan, district secretary of Himachal Kisan Sabha said, “It is a astonishing fact that cartons supplied by state-owned agencies are much costlier, which have fixed price of Rs 39 per carton, whereas, best quality cartons are available at Rs 34 to Rs 37 in the open market. This higher price declared by HPMC and other government agencies has given chance to private carton manufacturers to increase the prices of cartons.”
He alleged that there is a nexus between carton manufacturers and few BJP leaders, who are acting like agents to these carton manufacturers. “The state government made announcement that it has released Rs 50 crore for payments due for MIS, but has failed to make the due payments to the apple growers for fruit procured under Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) and forced the growers to buy inputs and other material at much higher prices through H.P.M.C. and other agencies and they are earning profit,” he claimed.
HKS demanded that the government should direct HPMC and other agencies supplying cartons to reduce the prices of cartons. It further demanded that keeping in view the low production and heavy losses worth almost Rs 500 crore due to natural calamities, the state government should give balance payments due to the apple growers worth Rs 30 crore since last year.