Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised before the last Lok Sabha polls to reopen the only salt mines of north India in Himachal Pradesh but he did nothing about it in the last five years, state Congress president Kuldeep Singh Rathore said Thursday. Also Read - Cyclone Tauktae Likely to Hit Karnataka Coast Tonight; PM Modi Reviews Preparedness | 10 Points
“Modi should tell the electorate of this hill state during his Mandi rally (on Friday) why the closed salt mines in Drang of Mandi district did not become operational as promised by him during his poll rallies in Himachal Pradesh in 2014,” he told reporters here. Also Read - PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme Reaches 7.03 Lakh Farmers In Bengal, Mamata Accuses Centre Of Dilly-Dallying Funds
None of the salt mines in the state were reopened in the last five years of the Modi government, he alleged. Also Read - Times Group Chairperson Indu Jain Dies, PM Modi Expresses Grief
The natural rock salt mines at Drang and Gumma were closed due to certain lapses by the Hindustan Salts Limited (HSL), a central government enterprise.
“Modi should also tell the residents of Himachal Pradesh why he could not hike the import duty on apples as promised by him during his poll rally in Solan in 2014,” Rathore said.
The Congress’s state unit claimed that Modi had promised to hike import duty on apples from 50 to 75 per cent for the benefit of apple growers in Himachal Pradesh.
Rathore claimed that apples were imported from foreign countries in plenty in the last five years of the Modi government and this caused huge losses to apple growers in the state.
However, BJP state vice president Ganesh Dutt claimed that the file in regard to hiking import duty on apples was closed in 2011 by the then Manmohan Singh-led government.
The present import tariff on apples is 50 per cent which is a “bound rate of duty agreed in General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, and World Trade Organisation”, he told PTI.