IT HAPPENS ONLY IN INDIA,
GREAT JOB MR. PARMAR
it is good to eat as many as vegetables and fruits (totally vegetarian), but my aurvedic doctor asked me to stop eating every...
ERSTWHILE Himachal Pradesh chief
minister Shanta Kumar's refusal to
give formal commitment to the World
Bank on withdrawing the state's
apple subsidy has cost the state Rs
150 crore in World Bank aid on integrated horticulture development.
Though Kumar withdrew the subsidy in spite of opposition from the
state's apple growers, he felt giving
in to the World Bank would make
him vulnerable to Congress charges
that he had bowed to World Bank
pressure. The recent dismissal of his
BJP government has thrown the ball
in the Congress court.
Kumar reportedly was willing to
lock horns with the World Bank
because he had hopes of reaching
agreements with France and Italy on
financing apple marketing and processing in Himachal. The French had
put in their proposal
and had even conducted a survey. French
embassy sources claim,"We are still waiting for
state Rs 1
feedback from the state
hesitation in putting
anything on paper possibly stemmed from
fears of a political back-
for lash. The apple lobby
bank. In fact, Shimla
and Kulu witnessed
when the subsidy was withdrawn,
with the opposition Congress protesting the World Bank's terms and conditions.
The support price for apples has
been drawing attention mainly
because of the huge sums involved '.
The support system first came into
effect in 1975-76 when, due to a glut
in the market, prices crashed.
Widespread hailstorms resulted in
the piling-up of huge, low-grade,
culled apple,stocks, which worsened
the situation. Culled apples are damaged apples that are not market-worthy, but are used, among other things,
for producing juice. Under the subsidy, the apples were bought at 80
paise per kg, with Himachal Pradesh
Produce Marketing and Processing
Corp (HPMC) acting as the nodal
agency for apple procurement.
Since then, the support price has
been fixed at varying rates, as electioneering in the apple belt has
always revolved around the fruit.
Shanta Kumar's Congress predeces-
sor, Virbhadra Singh, also exploited
the issue to his advantage by raising
the support 1price of apples to Rs 2.75
a kg just days before the 1991 elections.
In fact, just before the withdrawal
of the subsidy, then Central agriculture minister Devi Lal announced a
programme to share
the losses incurred by
cost the apple-growers with
the state government.However, this fell
crore through and led to a
drastic cut in Central
subsidy, prompting Shanta Kumar
aid finally to withdraw
-it. justifying the
decision, state agriculture secretary,
develop- Attar Singh commented, "The apple
industry can look