SKM Calls for Implementation of Universal Carton Approved by IIP
Shimla, July 3
The Syunkat Kissan Munch (SKM) has demanded the immediate implementation of the universal carton approved by the Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP) in 2013. In a press statement issued today, SKM Convenor Sanjay Chauhan emphasized that apples should be sold based on weight, as specified by the provisions of the APMC Act, 2005.
Chauhan stated that if the government fails to issue a notification for this without delay, it would be a betrayal of the lakhs of apple growers in the state. The government had previously announced that apples would be sold in universal cartons based on weight. However, Chauhan criticized the government for creating confusion by allowing a provision of 24 kg in a carton of apples.
In 2013, the then Congress government initiated a project to develop universal cartons for packaging apples and entrusted the responsibility to the Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP). The IIP designed a 20 kg carton that adhered to international standards and recommended its implementation to the government. However, for unknown reasons involving politics and pressure, no government has implemented this recommendation thus far.
Chauhan highlighted that the government had invested 11 lakh rupees from the treasury for this project at the time. He urged the government to immediately address the market issue of illegal deductions of two kg per box by commission agents. Additionally, he called for swift legal action against those responsible and for the return of the deducted amount to the affected growers, as such deductions go against fair value-added trade practices.
Furthermore, Chauhan stressed the necessity of strict implementation of the APMC Act, 2005, HP Metrology Act, 2009, and HP Passengers and Goods Taxation Act, 1955 for apple marketing. SKM pledged to collaborate with other farmers’ and growers’ organizations to protest if the government fails to take appropriate action.
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