Sukhum govt’s policy change is causing chaos among apple farmers, claims Jairam Thakur

Shimla “As per BJP leader Jairam Thakur, the recent order of the Congress-led Sukhu government making the use of universal cartons mandatory for purchase of apples has created widespread concern among apple farmers and commission agents.

Thakur criticised the government for implementing the new rule without proper preparation, just before the apple season begins. He pointed out that many apple farmers had already invested in telescopic cartons, which have now become useless due to the sudden change in policy. “Thousands of telescopic cartons are lying with apple farmers, costing them lakhs of rupees,” Thakur pointed out. He urged the government to buy back these telescopic cartons and provide adequate compensation to apple farmers to ease their financial burden.

Apple farmers are facing difficulties in getting multipurpose cartons, which are now mandatory for transporting their produce to mandis (markets). Commission agents are refusing to buy apples supplied in telescopic cartons, due to which apple farmers are unable to sell their produce and are incurring additional costs to bring it back from the markets. Thakur highlighted the lack of clear rules and alternative arrangements, which is leading to concern among both apple farmers and commission agents. “The government should provide high-quality multipurpose cartons at a reasonable price,” he demanded.

Thakur also accused the Congress government of consistently neglecting apple growers. He cited the problems of last season when the government ordered purchase of apples by weight but did not provide weighing scales at the mandis, which created chaos and refusal of apples by commission agents. Apple growers struggled with hired trolleys at the mandis while the government only offered statements instead of solutions.

“The government’s habit of making regulations without due consideration and preparation is a major cause of these problems,” Thakur said. He criticized the government for not keeping its pre-election promises to apple farmers, including not allowing them to set prices for their produce. Thakur urged the government to honor its promises to apple farmers and implement policies that address the practical challenges faced by those working in the industry.