Fertiliser Ministry asks railway to focus on urea movement to Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan; says no shortage in two states

New Delhi: The Fertiliser Ministry on Monday said it has asked the Railways to give priority to the movement of urea to Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan from ports and rejected reports that the two states are facing any shortage of urea.

The domestic suppliers have already been advised to supply the urea, highly subsidised fertiliser, according to the allocated supply plan for December, it said.

For Madhya Pradesh, 3.70 lakh tonne was allocated compared with the state's requirement of 3.50 lakh tonne for December. Out of which, about 1.85 lakh tonne of urea has been sold so far.

 Fertiliser Ministry asks railway to focus on urea movement to Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan; says no shortage in two states

Representational image. Reuters

In Rajasthan, the total allocation was 2.89 lakh tonne as against the requirement of 2.70 lakh tonne for the current month. Of which, 2.31 lakh tonne of urea has been sold so far.

"As on date, in the month of December, the urea supplies to both states are ahead of pro-rata requirement. ...The internal distribution within the state is the responsibility of state government," the ministry said in a statement.

Fertiliser Minister Sadananda Gowda last week said the reports of urea shortage have emerged ever since governments changed in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh recently though the supply has been made to them as per their requirement for the ongoing rabi (winter) season. The Congress is in power in the two states.

Stating that the government is monitoring the situation closely on a day-to-day basis, the ministry said it is in regular touch with all the states, fertiliser companies and the Railways to ensure the supply.

"Based on the feedback of state agriculture departments of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, the department of fertiliser has requested the railway board today (Monday) to accord overriding priority to urea movement for both the states from the ports (along with other states) till 31 December," the ministry stated.

At all-India level, about 36.20 lakh tonne of urea has been allocated for supply in the current month to all the states, higher than the requirement of 33.07 lakh tonne.

Of the total allocation, 20.94 lakh tonne of urea has already been sold to farmers so far in the current month across the country, it said.

Urea is sold at a government fixed price of Rs 5,360 per tonne. It is the most commonly used fertiliser because it is highly subsidised.

"The given data makes it clear that the Union government has been taking proactive measures to ensure adequate supply of urea in the rabi season 2018-19 to all states and there is sufficient stock available at the state level," the ministry said.

On an average, the Central government is supplying nearly 1 lakh tonne of urea per day from plants and ports combined to various states as per the allocations, it added.

With regard to domestic production of urea, the ministry said the units are running as per target and there is sufficient inventory of nearly 10 lakh tonne at various ports.

More inventory of 10 lakh tonne is lined up which is expected to arrive in December and January.

The ministry said it regularly advises state governments to lift the allocated quantity of fertilisers and ensure efficient distribution at the ground level to the farmers.

India produces about 24 million tonne of urea annually and imports about 5-6 million tonne to meet the deficit.

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Updated Date: Dec 24, 2018 19:44:49 IST