Shimla, Jan 22 (PTI) The Joint Kisan Manch of various organisations of farmers and horticulturists has urged Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu to take necessary steps to provide relief to the farmers in view of the rising cost of inputs and abolish GST on cartons and materials for packing.
The organisation wrote a letter to the CM in view of the rising cost of inputs, levying of GST and increasing interference of corporate houses and companies, procuring the produce at very low prices.
The members of the manch urged the government to come out with some concrete policy for farmers and horticulturists while also demanding the abolition of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on cartons and materials used for the packing of apples, fruits, vegetables and flowers.
The Himachal Pradesh Horticultural Produce Marketing and Processing Corporation Ltd. (HPMC) and Himachal Pradesh State Cooperative Marketing And Consumer's Federation Ltd. (HIMFED) be asked to release outstanding payments of more than Rs 90 crore for purchasing apples from growers, the letter said.
The Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) should also be implemented in the state on the lines of Kashmir and under and the support price for grade "A" grade B and C be fixed at Rs 60, Rs 44 per Kg and Rs 24 per Kg, respectively, it said.
Further, the subsidy on fertilisers, seeds, pesticides, fungicides and other inputs be restored and the government should provide good quality input material to farmers and fruits and vegetable growers at affordable rates, the manch urged Sukhu.
An increase in the import duty on apple to a minimum of 100 per cent by excluding it from the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) should also be implemented, the convener and co-convener of the morcha said.
The Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act be strictly implemented in all the Mandis and constitution of "Horticulture Board and Income Commission" and an immediate ban be imposed on the collection of market fees from the growers at barriers, they demanded.
Apple and all other crops should be sold on the basis of weight in all mandis. Loans taken by farmers and horticulturists from various banks and organisations be waived off and recovery notices issued by banks be withdrawn forthwith, it further said.
They also demanded setting up mandis for the purchase of paddy, wheat, maize and other crops under the minimum support price (MSP), fixing and monitoring the price of apples kept in the controlled atmosphere (CA) stores of corporate houses and provision of retaining minimum 25 per cent apple in CA should be strictly implemented.
Urging the chief minister to hold a meeting with manch, they also demanded a 90 per cent subsidy to farmer cooperatives for setting up CA stores and implementation of the Land Acquisition (Rehabilitation and Four times Compensation) Act, 2013 in the state. PTI BPL RDT