Minister for Horticulture, Syed Basharat Bukhari today said 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.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 Mr Navin Kumar Choudhary, Secretary Horticulture Mr Manzoor Ahmed Lone, MD JKHPMC, Dr Kabir Dar and other senior officers were present in the meeting.While discussing the recent walnut committee report, the Minister said necessary measures are 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.The Minister while hailing the recent initiative of the government to declare JKHPMC as debt free said the step would go a long way in rejuvenating the corporation which would ensure that the fruit produce of the is marketed in a proper way in other state’s of the country as well. He said since JK is the largest fresh fruit producer so the marketing and packaging facilities are imperative in selling the produce in the present competitive market in the country 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 meeting also discussed the status of compliances (Accounting and Audit Compliances) taxation issues, ROC Compliances. It also discussed suggesting viable options for revival plans, extent of renovation needed for existing defunct plants for optimum utilization, suggestions for new investment options based on available land resources, for capacity building, for undertaking the PPP mode if desire and also implementation viable options in a tax free manner.The proposal for developing marketing intelligence and also 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 establishes high density orchards was also discussed as the present scheme of intervention lasts for two years only.