Bengaluru, Oct 11 (SocialNews.XYZ) The Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) Karnataka unit has strongly opposed the Centre's decision to import areca nut and pepper from foreign countries.
Speaking at a press conference, AAP leader and senior lawyer Brijesh Kalappa said: "Our Karnataka is growing the best quality areca nut and pepper in the world. But the central government has proposed to allow import of areca nut from Bhutan and pepper from Vietnam via Sri Lanka.
"They are of low quality and when they get mixed with the good quality crops here, it will create a misconception among the consumers about the indigenous areca nut and pepper.
"Due to this decision of the Central government, the demand for areca nut and pepper grown by state farmers will decrease. This will adversely affect the price received by the farmers. What is the need to import areca nuts and pepper when our farmers are producing sufficient produce for the country?
"If the government imports groundnut and pepper, the government should levy heavy import duty on them. Importers should not be allowed to exploit the absence of an effective import duty policy to protect Indian farmers."
The AAP leader further claimed that the Centre is compromising on the welfare of farmers for the sake of 40 per cent commission.
"In connection with the import of areca nut and pepper, AAP demands the judicial investigation by a renowned retired Judge," he maintained.
The party's Bangalore City Vice President BT Naganna said" "Areca nut growers are suffering from yellow disease and blight disease which have been affecting them for many decades. The leaf spot disease which started recently is becoming severe and the crop is being destroyed on a massive scale.
"In a situation like this, the government, which is supposed to help the farmers, is adding to the injury by importing areca nuts and this is an inhuman act."
He added that a letter has been written to the Prime Minister and the Union Commerce Minister and that the party will oppose this in Parliament as well.