Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Kashmir Fruit Growers Demand Stiffer Controls on Iranian Apple Imports


Kashmiri apple growers are demanding that the Indian government take strong action to stop the alleged illicit movement of Iranian apples through Afghanistan to markets in India, saying the practice is depressing prices and undermining a $150 million (12 billion Indian rupees) in annual regional industry.

The growers say there is evidence that the Iranian apples are being shipped through Afghanistan so they can be imported into India duty free under the terms of the eight-country South Asian Free Trade Area. Iran is not a party to the agreement.

“We don’t want a ban on Iranian apples. Rather we want that they should be imported to India through legal means by paying the import duty. After paying proper taxes, it will no longer be cheaper any more in Indian market,” said Mir Mohammad Amin, a grower and trader from South Kashmir’s Shopian district.