Shimla: Coronavirus pandemic has gripped biggest fruit market Azadpur Mandi Delhi and causing apprehension to the apple producing states like Himachal Pradesh. Himachal Pradesh CM Jai Ram Thakur has raised the issue with PM Modi in a video conferencing and requested him for making alternate arrangements to facilitate the fruit growers to market their produce.

Himachal CM stated that apple season is nearing and since Azadpur Mandi at Delhi has been badly affected due to coronavirus pandemic it’s a need of the hour to make alternate arrangements to facilitate the horticulturists.

Thakur apprised the PM Modi that the economy of the State has been adversely affected due to the lockdown and to overcome that the State has taken various steps to gradually start economic activities in the State.

Jai Ram Thakur said that tourism industry was worst affected due to this pandemic. Therefore, Government had decided to waive off electricity demand charges for the period of six month.  Similarly, excise and taxation license fee would be waived off and lifting quota of bars would be on pro-rata basis.

He said that government would also provide support to HPTDC by providing support to the Corporation for paying salaries of its employees. 

He said that in addition to this, token tax and special road tax would be waived off for 4 months and no penalty would be imposed on owners of private vehicles on account of delay on renewal of registration and permits etc. and Rs. 55 crore help would be provided to HRTC, he added. 

He said that the payment of demand charges in respect of industrial, commercial and agriculture consumers for electricity consumption of April, 2020 was being billed in May and for the consumption of May, 2020 to be billed in June, 2020 has been deferred till 30th June, 2020 and these charges would be recovered in three equal instalments during the months of July, August and September, 2020.