Import of Iranian apples: Fruit traders in Sopore continue protests
Sopore: Continuing their protests against the import of Iranian brand of apples fruit traders associated with Asia’s second largest fruit mandi here in apple town Sopore area of north Kashmir staged a protest demanding an immediate ban on import of these apples.
While holding ply cards, which read “Ban Iranian apple”, “Save fruit industry of Kashmir,” the protesters stated that the import of Iranian apples to India has completely downgraded the fruit industry of valley and fruit market had suffered badly since last few months as Iranian apples were “illegally” and freely sold in Indian markets.
It has badly affected our local fruit industry as the apples which were being sold at suitable prices are now being sold at lesser price as Iranian apples were illegally and freely sold in the country without import duty.
“This has left all the fruit traders of valley worried,” said President fruit growers and dealers association fruit Mandi Sopore, Fayaz Ahmad Malik.
He said that apple trade is the backbone of our economy and if this trade witnesses some upheaval the entire business in Kashmir will also crumple.
“The apples coming from Iran enters markets across the country without paying any import duty or tax,” Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat, a local apple trader said.
He said that the apple industry was already suffering since last few years due to the Covid-19 lockdown and uncertainty and now import of Iranian apples is affecting the fruit industry badly.
The protesting traders also appealed the central government and Lt Guv lead administration of J&K UT to ban import of Iranian apples so that the local apple trade won’t suffer.