Special Correspondent

Fertilizer shortage among five subjects to be raised

Team to also meet Chidambaram, Paswan, Pawar

Classical status to be sought for Kannada

BANGALORE: A delegation led by Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa will call on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Ministers in New Delhi on Wednesday to draw the Centre’s attention on five subjects, including the acute shortage of fertilizers in the State.

The delegation will also urge the Centre to reimburse the Rs. 1,750 crore disbursed by the previous coalition government to cooperatives for the waiver of farm loans; accord special status to Hyderabad Karnataka under Article 371 of the Constitution and classical status to Kannada language; and more funds for tackling infrastructure bottlenecks in Bangalore.

Meet on budget

As a preliminary exercise before preparing the State Budget for 2008-09, Mr. Yeddyurappa on Tuesday held a detailed discussion with farmers and agricultural experts at the Vidhana Soudha. Former Ministers and top officials were present during the session.

Speaking to presspersons later, he said the all-party delegation would comprise leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Congress and the Janata Dal (S), and Kannada writers.

The Chief Minister said he had telephoned Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly M. Mallikarjun Kharge and the former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and requested them to be part of the delegation.

Not going

However, the Congress and the JD(S) have said that they will not join the delegation.

As on June 30, the State had been supplied 1,05,00 tonnes of Di-ammonium Phosphate (DAP) and 61,000 tonnes of complex fertilizers.

He said he had called on the Prime Minister and Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers Ram Vilas Paswan in New Delhi on June 11 and urged them to supply adequate quantities of fertilizers to the State. Besides promising an additional supply of 20,000 tonnes of DAP before June 20, Mr. Paswan had said that the Centre would supply 1.20 lakh tonnes of DAP and 1.14 lakh tonnes of complex fertilizers in June. He accused the Centre of failing to honour the promise.

July requirement

For July, the State required 95,000 tonnes of DAP. But only 45,000 tonnes had been supplied so far. With regard to complex fertilizers, the Centre had supplied 1,00,410 tonnes against the State’s demand for 1,54,000 tonnes. The State had a stock of 1,33,946 tonnes of fertilizers on April 1, 2008, while it had 2,02,763 lakh tonnes on April 1, 2007.

The delegation would also meet Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and seek the reimbursement of Rs. 1,750 crore disbursed by the Kumaraswamy government for waiving farm loans.

Mr. Yeddyurappa said the Centre would be urged to be urged to accord special status to the Hyderabad Karnataka region under Article 371 of the Constitution for developing the backward region.

The Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh and the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra had been given special status under the same Article, and it should be extended to Hyderabad Karnataka too, he said.

Provision had been made in the last two budgets for the development of 114 backward taluks based on the recommendations of the High Power Committee for the Redressal of Regional Imbalances headed by the economist D.M. Nanjundappa.

Classical language tag

The Prime Minister would be urged accord classical language status to Kannada at the earliest. Kannada had a history of over 2,000 years. The issue of according classical status to the language had been taken up with the Centre on several occasions, he said.

The delegation would meet Union Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy and request him to release funds for the all-round development of Bangalore, which had attracted global attention in recent years. The State had decided to seek Rs. 5,000 crore for the development of the State capital, he said.