The Uttar Pradesh government has directed fertiliser companies to ensure adequate supplies of urea and other soil nutrients in the current Rabi season.
UP agriculture minister Surya Pratap Shahi chaired a meeting with the representatives of leading fertiliser companies here recently and asked them to ensure seamless availability of urea for farmers at co-operative society outlets.
Some of the fertiliser manufacturers included Krishak Bharati Co-operative Ltd (KRIBHCO), Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO), Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Limited (RCFL), Coromandel, Kanpur Fertilisers and Chemicals, GSFC, Indo Gulf Fertilizers etc.
Shahi underlined that the Adityanath government had taken proactive measures to ensure there was no shortage of urea and other fertilisers during the rabi sowing period.
According to Shahi, the state had made arrangements for more than 2.26 million tonnes (MT) of urea so far in the current Rabi season in UP against the mandated stock of about 2.1 MT.
While about 1.7 MT of urea had already been disbursed to the farmers, 5,72,000 tonnes of urea stock was still available with the authorised agencies in the state, he added.
Moreover, 4,27,000 tonnes of diammonium phosphate (DAP) and 144,000 tonnes of Nitrogen Phosphorus Potash (NPK) has also been stocked for prospective use.
He informed that 70,000 tonnes of urea had also been supplied to each district and could be distributed at the discretion of the respective district magistrates if needed to overcome any scarcity in the supply of fertilisers.
Meanwhile, the minister warned that if fertiliser dealers were found pushing for the sales of other commodities along with urea through compulsory tagging, strict action would be taken, including the revocation of retail license.
Shahi stressed on maintaining complete transparency in the fertiliser distribution process and warned of penal action in cases of irregularities.
In January 2019, the Adityanath government, just months ahead of the crucial 2019 Lok Sabha polls, had slashed the urea prices by more than 10 per cent.
At the time, urea prices were higher in UP compared to other states due to the additional Value Added Tax (VAT) on natural gas. It had been a long pending demand of farmers to pare state urea prices in line with other states, which the state dispensation met to keep the farmers in good humour ahead of elections.
After the cut, a 45 kg bag of urea that earlier retailed at Rs 299 came down to Rs 266.50, while the 50 kg urea bag that sold for Rs 330.50 was made available to farmers at nearly Rs 299, a reduction of more than 10 per cent.
Earlier, there were three VAT slabs with the piped natural gas being taxed at 26 per cent, including an additional levy of 5 per cent in UP.