New Delhi: The government’s decision to remove additional duties on apples from America has created a stir. Apple farmers are angry with this decision of the central government. This decision of the government was criticized, after which an explanation was given by the Commerce Ministry. The government has said that there will be no loss to Indian farmers by removing the additional duty on apples in Washington. At the same time, Congress targeted that the government decided to reduce the import duty on American apple (Washington Apple) as a gift to America from 70 percent to 15 percent. He said that this decision of the government will cause huge loss to the farmers of Jammu-Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The government on Tuesday said that the removal of additional retaliatory duties on imports of apples, walnuts and almonds in the US will not have a negative impact on domestic producers. Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said that the opposition parties, especially the Congress, are politicizing the issue without fully understanding the issue. Apples have a regular duty of 50 percent and a minimum import price of Rs 50 per kg. He said that we have just removed the duty of retaliation…this step has no effect on the domestic apple growers. No effect on prices. Consumers get more options.
Earlier, Piyush Kumar, Additional Secretary of the Department of Commerce, said that the ‘Most Favored Nation’ (MFN) duty of 50 percent and 100 percent on American apples and walnuts will remain in force because Only 20 percent additional duty was removed. He said there will be no reduction in the MFN duty on apples, walnuts and almonds, which will still apply to all imported products including those of US origin.
He told reporters here that this move will not have any negative impact on domestic apple, walnut and almond growers. Rather, it will result in competition in the premium market segment of apples, walnuts and almonds, ensuring better quality at competitive prices for our Indian consumers. The market share of American apples decreased because other countries benefited from the imposition of additional retaliatory duties on imports of American apples and walnuts.
He said the removal of additional duties now would ensure fair competition among countries exporting these products to India. The clarification came amid the opposition Congress criticizing the government’s decision to reduce the import duty on apples. The Congress has said that the Center has reduced the import duty on Washington apples, which will directly affect the orchardists, causing them to lose. National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Monday appealed to the Center to reconsider its decision to remove additional duty on apples, walnuts and almonds imported from the US, saying the government one should try to please one’s own people instead of pleasing foreigners.