Shimla : The Himachal Kisan Sabha on Sunday charged the ruling BJP government in Himachal Pradesh for failing to regulate the prices of corrugated cartons and other packaging material being sold to apple farmers through state run HPMC and other such agencies.
â€œIt is a surprising that cartons supplied by state owned agencies are much costlier at Rs 39 per carton while the best quality carton in the open market is available at Rs 34 to Rs 37,â€ said Sanjay Chauhan, Shimla district secretary of the Himachal kisan sabha.
â€œThe higher price declared by HPMC and other government agencies will eventually lead to private agencies raising their prices, even in a year when the apple production is low and demand is less,â€ Chauhan said.
â€œThe state government has failed to regulate the prices of cartons and other packaging material thereby helping favoured carton manufacturers under whose pressure the state government recently sold the state owned AIPL carton factory at Gumma,â€ he alleged.
â€œThere is a nexus between carton manufacturers cartel and some BJP politicians who are acting like agents of this cartel,â€ he said.
He expressed surprise at the high prices of cartons despite a steep fall in paper, the main raw material by almost 50 per cent.
The kisan sabha also alleged the government was misleading the public by making false announcements that Rs 50 crore had been released to farmers under market intervention scheme.
In reality these payments were still to be made to apple farmers even a year after their fruit was collected by the government under MIS.
The kisan sabha has warned if all its demands were not met it would launch an agitation soon.