4 July : Himachal Pradesh Government today requested the Centre Government to increase import duty on the apple juice concentrate to save the domestic apple industries. The plea was made by Horticulture Minister Sh. Narender Bragta in a meeting with Sh. Anand Sharma , Union Commerce and Industry Minister in Udyog Bhawan New Delhi.Horticulture Minister told that the China was flowing its apple juice concentrate on cheaper rates in Indian Markets and it has adversely affected the sale of Indian Juice products in recent times. He pleaded for imposing duties on the Chinese juice concentrate as remedial measure and also pleaded for increasing the import duty from present 37.5% to at least 75 % so as to protect the economic interest of the Apple Growers of the State.
Sh. Narender Bragta told that while the actual cost of apple juice concentrate per kg comes to rupees 75/- per kg while on the other hand the china is supplying its apple juice concentrate in Indian Market at the rate of about 40/- rupees per kg which has adversely affected the Indian Market. He said the move has resulted in shifting big corporate houses to imported products and the demand of the domestic product has declined sharply in the Indian Markets.
Sh. Narender Bragta pleaded for setting up cool chains and other fruit based industries in Himachal Pradesh so as to increase the scope and production of horticulture activities in the State and ensure the remunerative prices to the fruit growers. He said that Himachal produces International Standards Fruits and Vegetables which can be marketed in the five star hotels in the metropolitan cities of the country and abroad .He requested the Union Govt. to set up latest technology industries for utilizing the raw material available in the state .
Union Commerce and Industry Minister, Sh. Anand Sharma assured the State Government that Centre will take steps to save the apple industry of the Country and will support State Govt. in its efforts to strengthen the infrastructure and other facilities in fruit growing area of Himachal Pradesh.