Himachal hails Delhi HC ruling in favour of apple growers

Shimla, Oct 2 (IANS) The Himachal government Wednesday hailed the Delhi High Court ruling against the six percent commission fruit merchants in Delhi's Azadpur market were charging on the apple growers.

Horticulture Minister Vidya Stokes said the growers would get a major relief as they would not have to pay extra for selling their produce in Delhi.

The relief given by the Delhi high court was due to relentless efforts of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who pursued the matter persistently, the minister said in a statement here.

According to the minister, as huge quantities of apples and vegetables from the state are sold through the commission agents in Azadpur, one of the biggest wholesale markets in Asia, the marginal farmers suffer huge losses.

Stokes herself is a prominent apple grower in Himachal Pradesh.

Horticulture is a vital sector in the state's economy as it generates more than Rs.3,200 crore annual income.

Apple constitutes about 93 percent of the state's total fruit produce. Besides apple, other fruits like pear, peach, cherry, apricot, kiwi, strawberry, olive, almond and plum are the major commercial crops of the state.

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