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No shortage of urea in Rajasthan, MP: Minister

New Delhi, Dec 21 (PTI) Urea supply in the country is comfortable and states, including the Congress-ruled Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, have been provided with more fertiliser than their demand, Union Fertiliser Minister Sadananda Gowda said Friday. The minister charged some states of making urea supply a "political issue" and stressed that the shortage of fertiliser, if any, is due to their distribution inefficiencies. The reports of urea shortage have emerged ever since governments changed in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh recently though the supply has been made to them as per their requirement for the ongoing rabi (winter) season, he said. About 25.06 lakh tonnes of urea is made available for December to all the states against the requirement of 21.33 lakh tonnes, he added. In case of Rajasthan, about 2.08 lakh tonne of urea has been made available so far, against the December month requirement of 1.74 lakh tonne. Further 27,000 tonne of urea is in transit which is likely to reach the state in a day or two. Urea's maximum retail price is fixed at Rs 5,360 per tonne. It is the most commonly used fertiliser because it is highly subsidised. "The urea supply is comfortable across the country. Even in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, we have supplied more than the requirement. The chief secretaries of the respective states are fully satisfied," Gowda told reporters. While the Centre's responsibility is to supply fertilisers to states as per their requirement, but it's the states' job to ensure proper distribution to farmers on time, he said. Ruling out any urea shortage, Gowda said, "Certain states are making it a political issue and they want to blame the Centre as their (states') distribution is not up to the expectation of farmers." In addition to indigenous urea, there is nearly one million tonne of imported urea at various ports. Also, more than one million tonnes of imported urea is expected to arrive in the current month and January, he added. Keeping in view the peak phase of urea consumption in states, the fertiliser ministry in coordination with the Railways Ministry has already given priority for urea movement from both the ports of west coast and east coast. Gowda also said that the Centre is fully geared up to address the field demand across all the states and any kind of emergent issues. "However, at the same time states are requested to ensure timely and uniform distribution within the state so that farmers get the fertilisers on time," he said, adding the situation is being monitored on an hourly basis for all states. India produces about 24 million tonnes of urea annually and imports about 5-6 million tonnes to meet the deficit. PTI LUX MR