Cheer for Himachal growers, govt okays sale of apple by weight, not boxes

In a relief for apple growers, the Himachal Government today cleared the air of uncertainty saying the produce would now be sold by weight, and that commission agents violating the norms would face action.

"The decision to sell apple by weight is in the interest of growers, who stand to benefit. So we will ensure its strict implementation," said Horticulture Minister Jagat Singh Negi as he sent out a stern message to commission agents who had threatened not to lift the produce if it was not sold by boxes.

"We will cancel the licence of those who do not purchase apple by weight. Also, we will issue licences to commission agents from other states to deal in apple purchase," said Negi, flanked by Education Minster Rohit Thakur and Rampur MLA Nand Lal, at a press conference.

The minister asked the commission agents to either abide by the April 6 notification on purchase of apple by weight or face action as per law.

"We will hold talks with agents and give them time, but if they fail to budge, action will be initiated against them, including cancellation of licences," he warned.

"We want to end the monopoly in apple trade and open doors to outside agents so that the interest of growers are protected," the minister remarked.

He said the problem of space at marketing yards would be addressed and it would be doubled at Prala, Parwanoo, Solan and other mandis.

Rohit Thakur, who represents growers from Jubbal-Kotkhai, said: "Apple boxes at times weigh over 35 kg and the move is to stop the anomaly." The Sukhu regime had drawn flak over failure to clear the air on the issue. The agents had threatened to go on strike in protest.

Erring agents may lose licence: Minister

  • Agents had threatened to go on strike if apple produce was not sold in boxes
  • Govt says licences of commission agents violating norms will be cancelled
  • Further, agents from other states will be issued licences for purchase of apple

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