Urea scarcity: Tota Singh differs with Dhindsa, says deficit artificial | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Urea scarcity: Tota Singh differs with Dhindsa, says deficit artificial

Punjab agriculture minister Tota Singh on Friday differed with the viewpoint offered by Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) secretary general Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa on the issue of urea shortage in the state. Tota Singh announced that there were sufficient stocks of urea in the state and the shortage projected was artificial.

chandigarh Updated: Dec 13, 2014 08:58 IST
Gurpreet Singh Nibber

Punjab agriculture minister Tota Singh on Friday differed with the viewpoint offered by Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) secretary general Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa on the issue of urea shortage in the state.

Tota Singh announced that there were sufficient stocks of urea in the state and the shortage projected was artificial.

Contradicting Dhindsa’s claims, Tota Singh said the fear of shortage was ill founded but he did not mind Dhindsa raising the issue in the Parliament.

“Dhindsa raised his voice to ask the Centre for timely supply and prompt transportation of urea to Punjab,” the agriculture minister said. Dhindsa had said the demand for urea in the state was not met due to which the rabi crop could be adversely affected, while Singh said by November 30, the state had received 5.24 lakh tonnes of the fertiliser.

“We have better stocks now than the previous season on the corresponding days,” Singh clarified, informing that the state’s total urea requirement in the rabi season is 13.15 lakh ton. In the previous rabi season, 13.88 lakh ton of urea was consumed.

Though the agriculture minister accepted that Punjab had 6.5 lakh ton urea in its stocks and needed an additional 6.5 lakh ton by March 31 next year, he said the state government had to go by the demand raised by farmers who wanted to stock urea even before wheat cultivation began.

“Wheat cultivation is delayed this season because on 8.6 lakh hectares, one-third of the total cultivable land, basmati is still being grown and will take time to ripen,” he added, hinting that there was no drastic shortage as projected.

The minister also blamed private dealers selling urea, saying they wanted farmers to buy their entire requirement at once. “The dealers causing panic will lose their licenses and the district agriculture officers have been directed to keep a watch on such unscrupulous elements,” added Singh.

‘Use fertiliser judiciously’

Tota Singh asked farmers of the state to use urea judiciously. “An acre of wheat field requires 75 to 100 kg fertiliser,” advised Singh, adding that farmers had the tendency to use more fertiliser than required. Punjab agriculture commissioner BS Sidhu said the chaos was due to mismanagement of urea distribution in the state.

He said it was the “sellers’ market” as shop owners decided how much urea was to be used and when. “It should be the buyers’ market where the farmer purchases the fertiliser according to his requirement,” he said, suggesting active surveillance in the market to ensure farmers are not fleeced.

Chandigarh: Punjab agriculture minister Tota Singh on Friday differed with the viewpoint offered by Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) secretary general Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa on the issue of urea shortage in the state.

Tota Singh announced that there were sufficient stocks of urea in the state and the shortage projected was artificial.

Contradicting Dhindsa’s claims, Tota Singh said the fear of shortage was ill founded but he did not mind Dhindsa raising the issue in the Parliament.

“Dhindsa raised his voice to ask the Centre for timely supply and prompt transportation of urea to Punjab,” the agriculture minister said. Dhindsa had said the demand for urea in the state was not met due to which the rabi crop could be adversely affected, while Singh said by November 30, the state had received 5.24 lakh tonnes of the fertiliser.