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CM discusses shortage with officials

CHIEF MINISTER Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday instructed the officers to make available urea to farmers as per their requirement without any inconvenience to them even as the chief secretary Rakesh Sahni met the officials of the Chemical and Fertilisers ministry at New Delhi.

india Updated: Dec 28, 2006 12:06 IST

CHIEF MINISTER Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday instructed the officers to make available urea to farmers as per their requirement without any inconvenience to them even as the chief secretary Rakesh Sahni met the officials of the Chemical and Fertilisers ministry at New Delhi.

The Chief Minister at a meeting with officials at his residence apprised himself of the problems faced in distribution of the fertiliser in some districts and directed them to provide urea in districts on priority where the problem was severe and the requirement higher.

Chouhan referred to his discussions with the Union Minister for Chemical and Fertilizers Ramvilas Paswan in New Delhi and said that the centre has assured to provide urea as per the State’s requirement.  He said the dissatisfaction among farmers at some places was due to inadequate supply caused due to delay in allotment, transportation and distribution process. But
the problem would be resolved soon, he told the officials.

He said the Centre has assured to provide one lakh metric tonne urea each in the first and second weeks of January.  Agriculture production commissioner Iqbal Ahamad and secretary, Agriculture Pravesh Sharma gave a detailed account of the efforts made to provide urea to the farmers.

Minister for Agriculture Choudhary Chandrabhan Singh also attended the meeting. Singh also held another meeting with the officials in which it was decided that about 25,000 tons of urea out of 40000 tons to be supplied would be distributed among farmers in Gwalior region.

Minister blames Centre
Agriculture Minister Chaudhary Chandrabhan Singh on Wednesday blamed the Centre for urea crisis in the State. His attack on the Centre comes close on the heels of AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh’s charges that Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his government mishandled the situation and did not put forward demand to the Centre for adequate supply of fertilisers.

Addressing mediapersons the minister released the copies of the letters the CM, the authorities of his department and he wrote to the Centre from August onwards to ask for adequate supply of fertilisers for Rabi season.

He said the State Government had asked for 8-lakh metric tonne urea for Rabi season through its DO letter dated August 28, 2006. Later, letters were written to the Centre from different levels by the State Government, he claimed.

Singh said the State Government asked for 2.56-lakh metric tonne urea for the month of October, 2.72-lakh metric tonne urea for the month of November and 2.50 lakh metric tonne for the month of December. By the evening of December 25, the State had obtained 5.53-lakh metric tonne urea.

Thus there was a shortage of over two-lakh metric tonne urea against the specific requirement of 7.78 lakh metric tonne, he added.  The minister said that as far as the sale of urea was concerned 5.55-lakh metric tonne urea had been distributed against the procurement of 5.53 lakh tonne.

On the charges levelled by Digvijay Singh that the urea was given to the traders on priority while it should have been distributed through cooperative bodies, the minister said 55 per cent of the urea was distributed through the cooperative bodies while only 45 per cent went to the traders. He said Digvijay Singh’s charges went against the UPA government’s policy to deregulate the sale of urea. It was in favour of sale of urea in open market.