Fertilizer scarcity: UP, Centre war of words reaches a new high

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Lucknow, Dec 14 (UNI) The blame game over scarcity of the DAP fertilizer in Uttar Pradesh continues with the Centre criticising the Mayawati government in the state for poor distribution system for the crisis.

Earlier this week, UP Chief Minister Mayawati had urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to allot additional one lakh tonne of the DAP and asked Railway Minister Lalu Prasad to provide wagons for ferrying the DAP to the state from Kandla port.

The UP government had also raked up the issue at various fora about Centre's indifferent attitude towards the shortage of DAP fertilizer in the state.

The Opposition parties had raised the issue in the State Assembly recently claiming that blackmarketing was the main reason for the DAP crisis.

''It is upto the State government to ensure that shortage of DAP does not occur, resulting in blackmarketing of stocks for which they have adequate powers under law,'' Union Fertilizer ministry had said claiming that there is enough stock of DAP in the state.

Yesterday, the Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers had also put the blame on the Pradesh Cooperative Federation(PCF) for its inablity to distribute the available fertilizers within the state.

An official statement of the ministry had made it clear that the DAP fertilizers have been made available in excess of the requirement projected by the state and availability has been far ahead of the sales.

''There have been reports of local shortages which have been primarily on account of inability of PCF to distribute the available fertilizers within the State. The distribution of fertilizers within each state is the responsibility of state level agency or state administration,'' the statement read.

According to sources, Department of Fertilizers had been holding regular discussions with the officials of the UP Government to oversee that requisite stocks are made available to the state. In the first week of December, the matter was once again reviewed with the State government officials and a decision has been taken to supply 5 lakh tonne of urea, 1.25 lakh tonne of DAP and 0.25 lakh tonne of MOP.

The Centre clarified that it does not monitor the supply position of complexes. However, keeping in view the request of the State government, it has been decided in the meeting held in the first week of December that the State will be supplied 1.2 lakh MT of fertilizers by stepping up the production of the complexes.

Union Fertilizer Ministry said the PCF had placed an order on the Indian Potash Limited (IPL) for 3 lakh tonnes of DAP, of which a quantity of 2.06 Lakh tonnes has already been supplied.

Besides, UP Government has subsequently taken a decision that the remaining stocks are to be sent to the private trade.

However, the Union ministry had reiterated its commitment that the full requirement of fertilizers to the UP, as have already been projected, would be met as per agreed plan. But at the same time, it is for the UP government to ensure that the available stocks are distributed a per requirement in all the districts so that there is no problem of shortages.

According to the available stocks of the DAP in the state in October against the demand of 3.30 lakh tonne of DAP, there was availability of 3.52 lakh tonne, while in November against the demand of 3.20 lakh tonne the availability was 4.53 lakh tonne. Till December 9, against the demand of 2.10 lakh tonne,the availability was 2.11 lakh tonne.

UNI

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