No scarcity of urea in MP; availability more than demand: Gowda

New Delhi, Dec 12 () As farmers jostle for urea supplies in Madhya Pradesh, a first in many years, the Centre on Thursday said there is no scarcity of the crop nutrient and the fault may lie in the change of distribution pattern done by the Congress-led government in the state.

The BJP and Congress have in recent days clashed over long queues of farmers reappearing in parts of Madhya Pradesh for securing their quota of urea.

Speaking to , Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Sadananda Gowda said the Centre has provided more urea to Madhya Pradesh than the projected demand for winter crops and it was up to the state government to manage the distribution.

"Our responsibility is to supply urea to states. And we have done that for Madhya Pradesh as well as other states. It is the responsibility of state governments to distribute urea within states," he said.
While the Centre had provided all previously sought urea, Madhya Pradesh government this week sought an additional 2.6 lakh tonne of the crop nutrient for rabi season.

"We are ready to provide the additional quantities," Gowda said.

Previously, the state government had projected a demand of 15.4 lakh tonne of urea for rabi season, all of which is being provided by the Centre. The additional demand would take the state's supplies to 18 lakh tonne.

Gowda said there were reports of shortage of urea in some parts of Madhya Pradesh and this could be due to change in distribution system by the state government.

He informed that the urea availability in the state stood at 7.08 lakh tonne as on December 11 as against the monthly requirement of 4.25 lakh tonne. For the current rabi season, 14.23 lakh tonne of urea has been made available to the state as against the requirement of 10.12 lakh tonne. "So practically, there is no scarcity," the minister said.

He said the Madhya Pradesh government had recently decided to distribute 80 per cent of urea through cooperatives and 20 per cent through private dealer network as against the earlier practice of 50:50 ratio.

Cooperatives were not able to increase distribution capacity, so "there was small confusion and farmers panicked", Gowda said.

The minister said he has spoken to state Chief Minister Kamal Nath and conveyed him that sufficient quantity of urea has been made available in the state. As many as 15 rakes of urea are in transit which will reach the state in next 2-3 days.

Gowda said the Centre is holding weekly video conference with all the states, including Madhya Pradesh to review the demand and supply situation.

He said the demand for urea in the country has increased in the rabi season due to better monsoon rains and the central government would ensure timely availability of the crop nutrient.

"Farmers need not worry. There is sufficient urea stock in the country," the minister asserted. MJH ANZ MJH ANU ANU

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