India’s federal budget for 2023-24 has failed to meet the expectations of apple growers in Himachal Pradesh as there is no mention of import duty on the fruit as well as reduction in GST. Apple growers are frustrated as the 18-28 per cent GST on packing material, agriculture tools, pesticides, fungicides, drip irrigation and poly houses has not been reduced and there is no mention of raising import duty on apples, President, Fruit Vegetable Flower Growers Association, Harish Chauhan told PTI yesterday.
The hike in allocation of horticulture mission to Rs 22 bln in the present budget (from Rs 19 bln in the last budget) is marginal and it should have been raised to at least Rs 40-50 bln, Chauhan said.
The apple economy in Himachal is worth Rs 50 bln crores and 250,000 families are directly dependent on it, says apple growers associations.
“We had high expectation from the budget and had apprised the Union Finance minister about our demands during the pre-budget discussions but nothing concrete has emerged,” he said .