According to sources, a section of the fertilizer dealers is allegedly selling urea at Rs 10 to Rs 12 per kilogram as against the subsidized rate of Rs 5.91 per kilogram.
There are also allegations that these traders of fertilizer are also selling subsidized urea in the name of some fictitious farmers with the evil design to sell the fertilizers in the black market.
Farmers and various social organizations have demanded action against the unscrupulous traders
The public has demanded that adequate amount of fertilizers should be supplied to farmers at the government-subsidized rate.
MANGALDAI: In a major blow to the farmers of Darrang District, a significant section of the fertilizer dealers of the district — both retail and wholesalers — are carrying on their flourishing businesses of selling the government-subsidized fertilizers allegedly at sky-high prices thereby showing the thumb to the government's farmer-friendly policy.
As the peasants are now busy transplanting paddy seeds, it is rather deplorable that at the same time they are having no alternative but to purchase the subsidized fertilizers — particularly urea — at double the normal rate.
Meanwhile, farmers and various social organizations have demanded that the State government must take stringent action on the fertilizer dealers for selling subsidized urea at a higher rate. The public has further demanded that fertilizer should be supplied to farmers at the government-subsidized rate.
Surprisingly, a section of the fertilizer dealers is allegedly selling urea at Rs 10 to Rs 12 per kilogram as against the subsidized rate of Rs 5.91 per kilogram, informed sources.
What is more, though the fertilizer dealers allegedly charged the extra mentioned amount for each kilogram of urea packet yet in the cash memo they mention the rate as Rs 5.91. Similarly, the subsidized rate of a packet of urea containing 45 kilograms is Rs 266.
But, the unscrupulous traders are allegedly selling each such packet at prices ranging from Rs 420 to Rs 430. On the other hand, they reportedly issued cash memos showing the price at Rs 266 per packet of 45 kilograms of urea.
There are also allegations that these fertilizer traders are also selling subsidized urea in the name of some fictitious farmers with the evil design to sell the fertilizers in the black market.
According to the Agriculture Department, there are 279 licensed retail fertilizer dealers across the district and 15 wholesale dealers.
A few days back, the department issued a show-cause notice to 'Rahman Agro Agency' at Kharupetia after detecting some anomalies in his license.
When contacted, a fertilizer dealer told The Sentinel that they have been selling subsidized urea at Rs 8 since 2010, and with verbal approval from the Deputy Commissioner.
But the fact remains, a Deputy Commissioner is not authorized to fix the rate of fertilizers which has been already fixed by the Agriculture Department.
On the other hand, citing the reasons for selling subsidized urea at a higher rate the 'All Darrang District Agro Dealer Association' — a non-registered organisation of fertilizer dealers — submitted a petition to the Director of Agriculture, Government of Assam, on July 9.
Among the mentioned reasons are the non-availability of a 'Rake Point' in the district, rise in the cost of handling and transportation, and inadequate supply of urea.