Shimla on 16th September, 2013.
Chief Parliamentary Secretaries Shri Nand Lal and Shri Rohit Thakur have condemned the statement of former Chief Minister Shri Prem Kumar Dhumal in which he has alleged that State government of showing indifferent attitude towards the problems of fruit growers.
In a joint press statement released here today, they said that it was BJP government which completely ignored the interests of the fruit growers and now after having being ousted from power Shri Dhumal was trying to become their well-wisher. They said BJP government only made false promises for five years but never tried to resolve the issues of apple producer’s.
They said that BJP government announced the construction of Parala marketing yard near Theog in Shimla district at a cost of Rs. 100 crore without making any budgetary provisions. Now, the present government had taken a decision to construct it under centrally sponsored National Agriculture Development Scheme. The Congress government had also made functional those cold stores which remained closed during previous government’s regime and a detailed project report had also been prepared to upgrade Chhaila-Neripul-Solan road under Central Road Fund.
Chief Parliamentary Secretaries said it was during the NDA government that apple import rate was fixed at 50 percent and no efforts were made to enhance it. Moreover, the permission to import apple was also granted by the NDA government in 1999. Now, the State government was endeavouring to declare apple as special product and the matter had been taken up with the Union Trade and Industries Minister regarding to check misuse in import of apple under the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA).
Shri Nand Lal and Shri Rohit Thakur said that BJP government made no efforts to improve the condition of Theog-Hatkoti-Rohru road and failed to start the vinery factory at Gumma whereas 66 bigha of land at Nagwain and Pragatinagar was given for vinery, which never came up. BJP government started Rs. 85 crore Apple rejuvenation Project but only 24 crore could be spent under the project leading to failure in achieving desired results.
They said that Congress governments had always taken care of the interests of the fruit growers whereas BJP had always indulged in fictitious announcements and misleading the people on the basis of regionalism. They said that it was due to efficient management of the present government that in spite of prolonged monsoon and adverse weather conditions, apple producers were facing no problems and till now more than 2.50 crore apple boxes had been sent out of the State.
They advised Shri Prem Kumar Dhumal not to indulge in cheap politics over apple and instead should support the efforts of the State government.