UP demands higher quota of imported urea
With the 2022 UP election barely six months away, the state government has urged the Centre for a higher quota of imported urea even as the Kharif sowing season is underway.
With the 2022 Uttar Pradesh (UP) election barely six months away, the state government has urged the Centre for a higher quota of imported urea even as the Kharif sowing season is underway.
Although the domestic urea requirement is largely met with indigenous production, yet a slew of other soil nutrients, including phosphatic fertilizers, are still imported from other countries, including China.
According to the UP Agriculture Minister Surya Pratap Shahi, for the current 2021-22 season, while a target of 5 lakh tonnes, or 0.5 million tonnes (MT), of urea prepositioning has been fixed for the state, there is an urgent need to enhance the imported fertilizer quota for the month of July.
Recently, Shahi had also called upon the Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya in New Delhi, urging him to allocate urea to the state according to the actual farm requirements.
Currently, the state has ready availability of nearly 1.77 MT of indigenously produced and imported fertilizer stocks out of the target of 2.69 MT for the entire season.
While the Kharif sowing and plantation work is underway in UP, more than 60 per cent of the targeted sowing has already been completed so far.
Shahi claimed the Centre had assured the UP government of facilitating an adequate supply of soil nutrients. Some of the most commonly used fertilizers are urea, Diammonium Phosphate (DAP), Nitrogen Phosphorus Potash (NPK), potash etc.
During the Kharif and Rabi sowing seasons, the state government takes special measures to not only ensure an equitable distribution of the commodity but also curb its black marketing and smuggling.
Earlier, the Yogi Adityanath government had warned of invoking the stringent National Security Act (NSA) against those indulging in such black marketing. During the sowing seasons, the state enforcement agencies conduct surprise checks at the premises of fertilizer dealers to curb irregularities in the distribution of fertilizers.
If any culpability is unearthed, first information reports (FIRs) are lodged under Section 3/7 of the Essential Commodities Act (ECA), while the fertilizer units and dealerships are sealed or cancelled.
(Virendra Singh Rawat is a Lucknow-based financial and economic journalist.)