Agriculture minister Gourishankar Bisen on Monday defended the Union government on "urea crisis" in Madhya Pradesh, amid allegations that the Centre is not providing the fertiliser to the state timely despite he and chief minister touring Delhi several times.
The Centre cannot be partial to a BJP-led government and has to take care of all the states in the country, the minister for farmers welfare and agriculture development said at a press meet while presenting the report card of his department for the last one year.
Bisen said around 12 lakh metric tones of urea/fertiliser had been sanctioned by the Centre to Madhya Pradesh, out of which around 8 lakh metric had been distributed and the rest would be given by March.
Bisen had recently met Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh and chemicals and fertilisers minister Ananth Kumar in New Delhi, and apprised them that farmers in MP were in dire need of urea. The state had received much less fertilizers than the fixed quota for October and November.
In reply to questions related to why the government was not taking strict action against the companies found supplying substandard seeds to the farmers, the minister said they had taken samples from 1,150 seed sellers and filed FIR against 18. However, he couldn't answer how much damage the substandard seeds had caused and how much was the production loss due to it.
On why the state government increased VAT by 4% as it would hit the farmers, Bisen said that the government had suffered losses and as such it had to take some steps to recover those losses.
Asked whether farmers would be provided bonus on wheat procurement this year, the minister said it hadn't been decided as yet and decision regarding it would be taken soon.
When asked that 16 lakh hectare land in the state had come out of the agriculture land category, Bisen refuted such claims, saying increase in agriculture production cannot happen with decrease in land under agriculture.
The minister said that Madhya Pradesh was given the prestigious Krishi Karman Award for the third time this year for excellent performance in wheat production.
"In the year 2012-13, Madhya Pradesh become second top state in wheat production leaving behind Haryana in year 2012-13 and Punjab in year 2013-14," he added.