Terming peace as a pre-requisite for all economic activities, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday assured the fruit growers that the government would facilitate the movement of fruit from the Valley to the terminal markets.

Appreciating the concern of fruit growers for the smooth flow of trucks, the Chief Minister assured them full support including exemption of taxes to empty trucks coming to the Valley to transport the fruit. He hoped that the protesters who had brought normal life to a standstill for the last several months would not hurt the fruit industry for which the peak season had commenced.

Chairing a joint meeting of top officials and representatives of fruit-growers and transport associations here, the Chief Minister said that the next three months were crucial for transport of fruit.

“Huge damage has already been done to the economy of the State leaving trade and commerce in a shambles and hurting the livelihoods of the common people,” he said. The Chief Minister directed the Horticulture Minister to convene another meeting after 15 days to review how the transport of fruit was going on. He asked the horticulture, transport, traffic and police departments to attend to the difficulties of the fruit-growers and take appropriate action for ensuring the smooth plying of trucks. Representatives of fruit growers from the Valley gave their suggestions.