SRINAGAR: Necessary interventions and innovative measures are being implemented so that JK’s horticulture sector is properly augmented both in terms of human resource and infrastructure, Minister for Horticulture, Syed Basharat Bukhari Friday said.
According to an official press note, the minister was addressing officers during a meeting held in sequel to the pre-budget meeting with the Minister for Finance, Dr Haseeb A Drabu to discuss the requisite budgetary support and interventions needed to give the requisite fillip to the horticulture sector.
Principal Secretary, Finance Navin Kumar Choudhary, Secretary Horticulture Manzoor Ahmed Lone, MD JKHPMC (Managing Director, Jammu and Kashmir Horticulture Produce Marketing and Processing Corporation), Dr Kabir Dar and other senior officers were present in the meeting.
While discussing the recent walnut committee report, the minister said necessary measures were afoot to give the requisite fillip to the walnut industry which is among key horticultural exports and a major contributor to the rural economy. He said the recommendations of the committee would be implemented so that necessary interventions are made in this sector at various levels to increase productivity and marketing.
The minister also directed for exploring the possibilities of hiring cold storages for the fruit produce so that the shelf life of the same is increased. He said this would give the growers the requisite facility of storing the produce and also selling it at the fruit mandis when the rates are good which would in turn ensure that they get good returns.
While hailing the recent initiative of the government to declare JKHPMC as debt free, the minister said the step would go a long way in “rejuvenating the corporation” which would ensure that the fruit produce is marketed in a proper way in other states of India as well.
He said since JK is the largest fresh fruit producer, the marketing and packaging facilities were imperative in selling the produce in the present competitive market in India and globally.
The meeting also decided to hire a consultant who would prepare the report about the measures to be taken for infusing a new life in the corporation and also harness the assets to create new processing units thereby reviving the corporation. The consultant would also prepare the correct report of the available resources, capital resources, trade options, the press note read.
The meeting also discussed the status of compliances (Accounting and Audit Compliances) taxation issues, ROC (Registrar of Companies) Compliances. It also discussed suggesting viable options for revival plans, extension of renovation needed for existing defunct plants for optimum utilisation, suggestions for new investment options based on available land resources for capacity building, for undertaking the PPP (Public-private partnership) mode, if desired, and also implementation of viable options in a tax free manner.
The proposal for developing marketing intelligence and infrastructure for setting up of urban mandis and processing units for medicinal plants was also discussed, bankable scheme to explore the avenues for ensuring that the growers establish high density orchards was also discussed, as the present scheme of intervention lasts for two years only, the press note added.