Low urea stock triggers escalation in price
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, May 29 2010: Compared to previous years, farmers will have to bear extra cost on Urea this time as a bag of the essential fertiliser cost anywhere between Rs 600 to Rs 1000 .

A reliable source from the State Agriculture Department disclosed that required quantity of Urea which is to be made available to farmers for Kharif crops at Government controlled rate could not be transported in to the State so far.

Last year, 645.5 metric tonne of Urea was lifted by April/May.

But this year, only 402.5 metric tonne could be lifted and prospect of lifting more is very bleak, the source said.

The source further said though the Government of India has allocated 35,000 metric tonne of Urea to Manipur, the quantity that should be lifted this month has not been possible on account of the total economic blockade along the National Highways.

Out of the total Urea allocation, 17,500 metric tonne are to be lifted from the Namrup factory of Brahmaputra Fertiliser Corporation and remaining 17,500 metric tonne from the Indian Farmer Fertiliser Corporation Limited at Guwahati.

The distance from Namrup to Imphal through National Highway 39 is 534 kms while it is 1213 kms through NH-53 .

Based on the distance to be covered, Rs 42,000 was given as transportation charge for lifting Urea from Namrup through NH-39 .

However, this time transporters insist that Rs 80,000 to Rs 90,000 should be allocated as transport fare.

Otherwise, they would not lift the Urea, the source disclosed .

Even as the transporters are insisting on hiking the charge, a ruling of the Supreme Court has restricted urea load to only 9 metric tonne per truck instead of earlier limit of 17.5 metric tonne, the source added.

In such a situation, if the Urea is to be lifted through NH-53, then there is possibility of the price of one bag of Urea raising upto Rs 1000.Without the restriction of the Supreme Court, the price of one bag of Urea would be around Rs 600, the source further said, adding that though the ruling has not been seen on paper.

It is said that normally the MRP rate of one bag of Urea is Rs 265 .

Taking serious note of the matter, after a discussion at the Chief Minister's level, the Government has already assured the dealers that the increased transportation charge would be refunded.

However, the dealers wanted that the amount should be given before hand and refused to go and lift the Urea.

Nonetheless, the Government has been trying to prevail upon the dealers for ensuring lifting of atleast 30,000 metric tonne at the earliest possible, the source informed. Commissioner of Agriculture, Government of Manipur has also reportedly written to the Director (Movement), Ministry of Chemical Fertiliser, Government of India for providing facilities for transportation of the allocated State Urea quota lying at the factories upto Silchar by train so that the same could be lifted to Imphal.