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Friday, September 17, 2021

Manipur govt diverting urea to poppy cultivation areas: Jairam Ramesh

The former Union minister’s reaction comes in the wake of growing complaints from farmers against the shortage of urea.

Written by Jimmy Leivon | Imphal |
August 31, 2021 10:13:50 pm
Mutum Churamani, president of LOUSAL, said Manipur has been facing a shortage of urea every year despite the fact that it is getting more quantities of urea than the actual requirement. (Representational)

Congress MP Jairam Ramesh has accused the BJP-led Manipur government of creating shortage of urea in the state by diverting it to the hill areas where poppy is grown for opium.

The former Union minister’s reaction comes in the wake of growing complaints from farmers against the shortage of urea.

“BJP’s Vikas in Manipur. Manipur is getting twice the supply of urea it needs and yet farmers complain of shortage! Why? Because urea is diverted to hill area in Manipur, where poppy is being grown for opium in large areas in last 4 years. The state govt is fully complicit in this (sic.)”, tweeted the senior Congress leader, who is also the election observer of Manipur.

Jairam Ramesh left Imphal on Tuesday after camping for five days to discuss election strategies. Manipur Assembly election is due to be held in 2022.

It is pertinent to note that, LOUSAL, an association formed by farmers, demanded a probe into the alleged urea shortage confronting the Manipur government by forming a House inquiry committee.

Mutum Churamani, president of LOUSAL, said Manipur has been facing a shortage of urea every year despite the fact that it is getting more quantities of urea than the actual requirement. While the total urea requirement is 2,41,000 bags, the Centre had allotted 4,40,000 bags of urea for Manipur with an excess of 1,97,000 bags, said Churamani.

Against this backdrop, Manipur Agriculture Minister O Lukhoi, in the recently concluded Assembly session of Manipur, had clarified that there is no scarcity of urea in the state.

The minister asserted the difficulties being faced by the farmers was due to the adoption of Point of Sale (POS). As per the Government rules and guidelines laid down by the Point of Sale (POS) portal, documents like Aadhaar card, land patta, price value of land, among others, are required for getting access to fertilizers by the farmers, the minister said.

Acquiring fertilizers by logging in through the Point of Sale (POS) portal is indeed a time-consuming exercise that cannot be avoided on a short-cut basis, and this formal process creates problems for the farmers, he explained.

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