12 September, Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir), India (ANI): Former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti are among the political figures in Jammu and Kashmir who have strongly protested the federal government’s plan to lower the price on apples imported from the United States.
The United States and India agreed to settle six unresolved trade issues in June. In addition, India agreed to lower duties on a number of US goods, including apples, boric acid, lentils, almonds, walnuts, chickpeas, and diagnostic tools, according to a statement released by the US Trade Representative on Friday.
In reaction to a US move to raise tariffs on certain steel and aluminium goods, a further 20% levy was placed on US apples in 2019. The Most Favoured Nation (MFN) tariff on apples has not changed and remains at 50% for all imported apples, including those from the US.
Farooq Abdullah, the leader of the National Conference (NC), criticised the Centre’s decision to impose tariffs on apples and said that it had not considered how it would affect the economy of Jammu and Kashmir.
“They aim to eliminate the local farmers in order to placate the US. I implore the government of India not to take any action that might exacerbate the current level of poverty and cause us to get mired in yet another catastrophe.We will demonstrate in the streets if they don’t make things simple for the people, he warned.
Mehbooba Mufti, leader of the PDP, also criticised the decision to remove the extra duty on apples.
“There are plenty of apples available. There are plenty of high-quality apples in Jammu & Kashmir and in Himachal. Why do they still want to import apples (the government)? She continued, calling the government’s “Make in India” initiative a “joke.”
Leader of the CPI(M), MY Tarigami, also criticised the Centre.
“Our market has been given over, and the import tariff assessed on American apples has been much decreased… What would happen to our apple farmers now? He queried. (ANI)