Srinagar: The J&K Horticulture Produce Marketing Corporation (JKHPMC) has outsourced Tree Spray Oil (TSO) to private dealers instead of directly supplying it to apple growers on subsidized prices. The Kashmir-based fruit growers on Tuesday described the action as “malicious” saying the dealers deliberately dump the TSO to inflate prices.
“Instead of weeding out the middle man and making TSO available in far-flung areas, the JKHPMC has routed TSO through private dealers. These private firms sell TSO to growers on exorbitant prices. Black marketing of TSO has put the fruit growers in acute hardship,” said Bashir Ahmad Bashir, President Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers cum Dealers Association (KVFGDA) said.
He said compared to original price of Rs 94 per litre, it’s being sold at Rs 125 per litre.
He said the previous state government had allotted a quota of 25 percent of the total requirement of one crore litres of TSO to JKHPMC in order to supply it to growers. “How this quota can be sold out to private parties”, he asked. “It is a clear case of black marketing and profiteering. We have approached the Advisor to Governor Khurshid Ganai, who is looking after the horticulture department”, Bashir said.
Muhammad Ashraf Bukhari, Agriculture Production Commissioner told Kashmir Reader that he has pulled up the TSO dealers and asked them to keep sufficient quota available for the apple growers.
“In case any grower faces problem of being overcharged he can approach our department and lodge a complaint regarding the erring distributors,” Bukhari said.
Director Agriculture Showkat Ahmad Beigh said that the depaartmehnt would look into instances of over-charging. “Oil Marketing Companies-OICL, HPCL and BPCL will be regulating the price details in the market to eliminate black marketing”, Beigh said.