All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) is planning to hold a demonstration on 1st August, 2013 against lifting of import duty from import of apple.
Press secretary of Himachal Kisan Sabha (HKS), Satyander Chauhan said in a press release that this decision was taken in 33rd All India Kisan Sabha Conference held at Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu from 24th to 27th July, 2013.
HKS leaders will launch a massive campaign against the proposed lifting of import duty from apple from the year 2014. They will mobilize the apple growers of the state and there will be a warning demonstration on this issue at tehsil, block and sub-division level on 1st August, 2013.
Mr. Satyander Chauhan said that 9 members delegation from Himachal had participated in the conference in which HKS General Secretary, Dr. Onkar was elected as Central Kisan Committee Member and HKS President, Dr. Kuldip Tanwar as All India Kisan Council Member.
Dr. Tanwar who attended the AIKS conference at Tamil Nadu raised the issues like lifting of import duty from apple, wild animal menace and issue of alternative policy for the development of Himalayan region states. He blamed the central government for carrying on the agenda of World Trade Organisation (WTO) and World Bank and said that under the influence of WTO, government is forcing anti-poor and anti-farmer policies in our country.
“The government is lifting the quantitative restriction on import and also lifting the import duty from 2014 on apple coming from outside of the country.”, farmer leader said. He also stated that after the lifting of quantitative restrictions and import duty from apple, the domestic market and producers of apple will have to face stiff competition from America, China and other European countries. At present apple growers are already facing challenges and hardships due to the misuse of South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA).
Menace of wild animals was also discussed in the conference. Many states reported that they are also facing the problem of wild animals in their respective states. The state of Rajasthan is badly facing the menace of wild boar and blue bull.
“In Himachal, including monkey, wild boar, blue bull there are dozens of wild animals and birds who are destroying the apple, vegetable and cereal crops of thousand crores.”, HKS leader said adding that the wrong policies of centre and states are responsible for creating this problem.
There is a need of aggressive and intensive campaign to fight out with this issue. At the national level coordination committee will be formed to devise the strategy to tackle the issue of wild animal menace.
State delegation from Himachal Pradesh also raised demand of alternate development policy for hilly states. As on today there is a binding for hilly states to retain 60 percent green cover out of the total area of the state. Because of this condition there is very little area for agriculture, horticulture and other farming related activities in these hilly states.
There is not much scope of industrialization in hilly region. Therefore, unemployed youth of Himalayan states do not have any alternative employment and they are forced to migrate to other states in search of employment. Central government is not giving any amount of compensation to these states in lieu of protection of environment and green forest. Kisan Sabha will prepare an alternate development policy for Himalayan states and will submit it to the central government.