By: Mohan Verma
Former Horticulture Minister and Senior BJP leader Mr. Narinder Bragta lashed out at the State Government for failing to safe gaurd the interest of thousands of farmers engaged in Apple cultivation.
Addressing media person at Theog, Mr Bragta alleged that apple growers were facing apathy of the Government as inordinate delay had been caused in implementation of Market Intervention Scheme(MIS) this season.
Coming down heavily on the state government Mr. Bragta said that season in the lower belt was about to conclude but no collection centres of Himachal Pradesh Produce Marketing Corporation(HPMC) has been opened in the state so far. He alleged that there is a glut in the market but no procurement centers were working under MIS scheme in the field. Terming the government anti-farmer he pointed out that government had yet to release Rupees Three crore pending payment of MIS scheme.
He also pointed out that the lack of clarity about the sale of apple in gunny bags is forcing farmers to sell their produce in small gunny bag making it more losing proposition. BJP leader asserted responding to benefit of standard apple cartoon scheme. BJP leader, who is himself a prominent apple producers, said that MIS centres should be opened in the state soon. Moreover state agencies should be appointed to impart the benefit of standard universal cartoon system introduced in the state.
He also highlighted that frequent traffic jams were delaying transport of crop to market as most of link and main roads were not maintained properly. He alleged adding that there seemed no efforts on behalf of authorities to reduce congestion of traffic. Proposal of new horticulture road coined during the last BJP rule were gathering dust as state government was showing no interest in it.
Apple is back bone of hill economy as more than 2.50 lakh households directly depends on its productions contribute to about Rs 3000 crore to state GSDP.