Farmers Face Grim Prospect Of ‘Price Hiked’ Urea

IMPHAL, Apr 1: It is unlikely that the State Government would be able to provide urea at its normal price to farmers this kharif season. An official source said that even though the price of urea remains at Rs 276.10 per bag till March 31 at MRP, the same would cost about Rs 600 in Manipur.

The cost of urea charged by the Brahmaputra Valley Fertilizer Corporation (BVFC), Namrup is Rs 189.13 per bag. After adding all the taxes, the Government of India is providing urea to Manipur at the maximum retail price of Rs 276.10 per bag.

But the price of urea has been increased to Rs 3848.38 per metric ton from today. This means the ex-Namrup price would rise to Rs 192.40 per bag.

However, the exact price for Manipur for a bag of urea has not been fixed as yet.

Nevertheless, in addition to Rs 1450 given as freight subsidy by the Centre for a truck load of 9 metric ton capacity, the dealers are paying Rs 50,000 to each truck as transport charge.

For a truck of 9 metric ton capacity, the Centre is giving a freight subsidy of Rs 13050.

On the other hand transportation of one truck load of urea from Namrup to Imphal costs Rs 63050 whereas the dealer margin guaranteed by the Centre is Rs 180 per metric tonne which means Rs 9 per bag.

Taking into account the transportation charge, dealer margin and the 5 per cent VAT, one bag of urea would cost Rs 492 per bag in Manipur. However, this is exclusive of the ‘taxes’ levied along the highway to Imphal.

If the money paid at these taxes and the commissions given to agents by dealers are taken into account, it remains a big question whether the Government would be able to provide urea to farmers at Rs 600 per bag.

Even as the Agriculture Department has been striving for the last many years to provide urea to farmers at the normal price, the department has achieved little success.

Yet, the Government has been making all efforts to ship in adequate quantity of fertilizers on NH 39 in view of the deplorable condition of NH 53.

The State Agriculture Minister and top officials struck an agreement with BVFC recently for shipping adequate quantity of urea of Manipur before the onset of rainy season.  Even as the State Government has proposed allocation of 37500 metric tonnes of urea for the kharif season, the matter has not been finalized as yet.

Nevertheless, the Government has acceded to allocation of 3730 metric tonnes of urea for the month of April.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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