Fruit industry at verge of collapse: Gani Vakil

Senior Vice-President People's Conference Abdul Gani Vakil addressing a gathering.
Senior Vice-President People's Conference Abdul Gani Vakil addressing a gathering.

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Feb 10: Senior Vice-President People’s Conference (PC) and Former Minister Abdul Gani Vakil today said that fruit industry in Kashmir is at the verge of collapse as Government has ignored it at the ground level.
Addressing a party convention in Nowpora Kalan Sopore, Vakil said fruit growers in Kashmir are facing acute hardships as the administration has sidelined their demands.
“Although after the abrogation of Article 370, the Government of India had made big promises that apple industry in Kashmir would be boosted through special packages but it had remained restricted to statements only. The senior leader said till time no such package was given to them. Even in the recent union budget, there was nothing for the distressed fruit growers of the valley”, Vakil said.
“Most of the growers are struggling in paying their taxes, loans and other things. We have seen fruit industry which was once the backbone of J&K’s economy is presently at the verge of extinction,” Vakil added.
About frequent closures of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, Vakil said it is unfortunate that each of our fruit growers have faced heavy losses as government has failed to upgrade its infrastructure from the past several years.
Vakil urged UT Government and Union Horticulture Ministry to intervene in the matter, so that valley-based growers would not be discouraged.
He urged the Government to announce a special package for the fruit growers in Kashmir and demanded to waive off KCC and other loans as it can be sigh of relief to the community who heavily suffered losses due to COVID-19 lockdown and frequent closure of national highway which the government has failed to upgrade its infrastructure for last several years.
Others who addressed the convention include Political Secretary PC Mohammad Sulaiman Bhat, Constituency Head Tariq Ahmad Mir, Senior People’s Conference leader Advocate Mehraj Din Tawheedi, President Women Wing Advocate Rukaya Jan, etc.