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Srinagar, Mar 9 (UNI) Assuring farmers to explore all possibilities to exempt VAT on pesticides and fungicides, Jammu and Kashmir Horticulture minister Mohammad Dilawar Mir said about 10 lakh Card Board Cartons (CBC) would be procured shortly, which would be supplied to fruit growers and traders on subsidised rates.

Mr Mir assured the fruit growers and dealers that the state government would pool in all its resources for promoting Horticulture Industry on modern lines.

He said the Fruit Industry is the backbone of the state's economy which has given sustenance to the people during worstever and odd periods, including decade-ong turmoil in the state.

Mr Mir said the government would explore all possibilities to exempt VAT on pesticides and fungicides on the analogy of neighboring states of Haryana and Punjab.

He said testing laboratories in each district, preferably within the vicinity of respective fruit mandies, would be established under the Technology Mission Programme.

He said about 10 lakh CBC would be procured shortly, to be supplied to fruit growers and traders on subsidised rates for promoting packaging and grading of the fruit, imperative to withstand stiff market competition in the World market.

The Minister informed the fruit growers and traders that government have decided to import newer varieties of fruit plants from most developed countries of the world including America and Italy.

This step would provide much-needed relief to the farming community, he added. He said imported plants would be popularised among the farmers by establishing demonstration plot in various areas of the State.

UNI BAS RSA KP1312

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