TN govt warns Fertiliser companies of stringent action

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Chennai, Jun 1 (UNI) The Tamil Nadu government today warned of stringent action against companies trying to sell fertilisers at higher rates in black market by creating artificial demand.

An official release here said the DMK government was committed to the welfare of farmers.

''Punitive action will be initiated against companies spreading false campaign about shortage of fertilisers and trying to sell them in black market at higher prices,'' it said and appealed to the farmers not to believe in such false propoganda.

''Following advise from Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, all steps were taken to ensure that the adequate stock of fertilisers reach the farmers at the right time,'' it added.

The release said during the Kharif season from April to September, paddy would be cultivated in 7.71 lakh hectares, small edibles in five hectares, pulses in 3.40 lakh hectares, edible oil seeds in 5.33 lakh hectares, cotton in 50,000 hectares and sugarcane crops in two lakh hectares.

About 4.35 lakh metric tonnes of urea, two lakh tonnes each of DPA and Potash were required for cultivating these crops and steps were taken to provide these fertilisers to the farmers.

Stating that there was adequate stock of fertilisers on hand after meeting the requirements of the farmers for the month of May, the release said the government had taken steps to ensure that there was no shortage.

Following the government's decision to open the sluice gates of Mettur dam for irrigation on the scheduled date of June 12, it was estimated that 30,000 metric tonnes would be required for the month of June.

Recalling the assurances given by fertilisers companies to make available 1.36 lakh tonnes of urea, 63.710 tonnes of potash and 41,000 metric tonnes of DAP to the government, the release said the government had taken steps to procure them.

The first ship carrying the DPA provided by Zuari company reached the Chenani port on May 20. Of the 21,225 metric tonnes of fertiliser, 15,000 metric tonnes of DAP was allotted to Tamil Nadu of which 9,000 metric tonnes would be distributed to farmers in June and the balance 6,000 tonnes in July.

The consignment from Coromandel Fertilisers carrying 24,000 metric tonnes of DAP would reach Tuticorin port in the next few days and it would be distributed to the farmers for June and July.

UNI GV ROY NY AS1812

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