IIOJK in focus

PDP protests removal of import duties on American apples

Srinagar: The Jammu & Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) staged a protest on Wednesday against the abolition of import duties on foreign apples, denouncing it as an act of economic adversity inflicted upon the farmers and fruit growers of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

Suhail Bukhari, Chief Spokesperson for PDP, conveyed the party’s apprehensions during a media address. He expressed deep concerns regarding the potential repercussions of the recent policy change of the Modi regime on the apple industry in Jammu & Kashmir.

“The decision to eliminate import duties would bear severe economic consequences for” the Kashmiri fruit growers , Bukhari said.

Bukhari pointed out that the timing of the Indian government’s decision coincided with the peak apple harvesting season, with prices already experiencing a decline. He recalled the difficulties faced by the fruit industry last year when fruit-laden trucks were halted on highways, leading to a crisis for those associated with the industry.

Bukhari criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for its prioritisation of foreign interests over the economic well-being of Jammu & Kashmir, asserting that this move exposed the BJP’s true intentions.

The PDP spokesperson highlighted that the hasty decision by the Indian government would disproportionately affect local growers, which has already been grappling with substantial losses since 2019.

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