Badal reviews availability of seeds, fertilisers

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Chandigarh, Oct 26 (UNI) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal reviewed the position of the availability of agricultural inputs viz seeds and fertilisers for the Rabi 2007-08 in a high level meeting held here at his residence late last evening.

Taking part in the deliberations, Mr Badal directed the officers of the Cooperation and Agriculture Department to make joint efforts to ensure the timely supply of both seeds and fertilisers well before the sowing of the wheat.

It was informed in the meeting that Markfed had received 2.21 lakh MT of DAP (Di Ammonium Phosphate) against an indent of 2.5 lakh MT.

Director Agriculture B S Sidhu informed in the meeting that till date 3.5 lakh MT of DAP and 3.7 lakh MT of urea had already been positioned in the different parts of the state and at present there was absolutely no shortage of fertilisers in the state.

The Chief Minister directed the officers of the department that smooth availability of fertilisers should be ensured in the state to avoid the panic amongst the farmers.

He also talked to the Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers Ram Vilas Paswan on telephone during the meeting to expedite the dispatch of DAP to the state for its application for timely sowing of wheat.

It was also informed in the meeting that under the National Food Security mission about 1.5 lakh quintals of certified quality wheat seed was being made available to the farmers in the selected districts at the rate of Rs 1,200 per quintal. The Chief Minister desired that the certified seed should be made available throughout the state at the same rate.

In the meeting, Mr Badal announced to release subsidy of Rs three crore from the Rural Development Fund for this purpose.

The Chief Minister also reviewed the position of the sugarcane crushing by the mills in the cooperative sector. He directed the Cooperation department to release all the outstanding arrears of the sugarcane growers amounting to Rs 18 crore besides releasing two months salary to the employees of the cooperative sugar mills in view of the Diwali festival.

It was also informed in the meeting that the Agriculture Department was supplying Gypsum to the farmers at the rate of 50 per cent of the cost under National Food Security Mission. The Chief Minister directed that the Gypsum should be made available to the farmers at 50 per cent subsidy throughout the state and consequently it was decided to release arrears of Rs 1.89 crore of subsidy for Gypsum to the Agriculture Department from the Rural Development Fund.

The Chief Minister also directed the State Chief Secretary to immediately take up the matter with the Central government for making necessary arrangements for supply of the decontrolled fertilisers so that the National Food Security was not jeopardised.

Mr Badal also said that he would soon take up this matter personally with the Prime Minister during his next visit to Delhi.

UNI

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