Karnataka

Farmers warn of a struggle if hike in fertilizer price is not withdrawn

The sharp increase in the price of fertilizers has ruffled the feathers of farmers’ leaders who have warned of a struggle against the Centre if the price hike is not rolled back.

Karnataka State Sugarcane Growers’ Association president Kurubur Shanthakumar took exception to the abrupt increase in the price of fertilizers. He accused the Centre of yielding to the lobby by the manufacturing companies to hike the price.

“The BJP government at the Centre had promised farmers of directly transferring the fertilizer subsidy to their bank accounts. While such a promise is yet to be implemented, the government has increased the price of fertilizers,” Mr. Shanthakumar said. He described the sharp increase in the price as “anti-democratic”.

The farmers are also upset at the State government over not sticking to the commitment of supplying six hours of the three-phase power supply for their irrigation pump-sets.

“As against the commitment of supplying six hours of three-phase supply, farmers are actually getting less than three hours a day,” he alleged. In several areas, the three-phase supply was being given during night, making it difficult for farmers to make arrangements for irrigating their standing crops, he saidand expressed concern that crops on several tracts of land were getting dried up owing to erratic power supply.

He warned that farmers would stage a protest by locking up the offices of Escoms if the hours of supply of three-phase power was not increased. He accused the government of ignoring the problems of farmers in its efforts to win the bypolls and cover up the CD scandal.

Reduction in subsidy has resulted in hike of about 60%: Siddaramaiah

Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah has condemned the hike in fertilizer price from April 1 by pointing out that the increase is to the tune of about 60%.

In a press release, he said the cost of DAP had been increased by ₹1,400 a quintal while that of NPK had been hiked by ₹1,250 a quintal. He sought to debunk the Centre’s argument that the hike was owing to an increase in price in global market.

He maintained that the actual reason for the increase in fertilizer price was owing to reduction in subsidy in the Central Budget. “The Centre has reduced fertilizer subsidy by about 40%, amounting to ₹54,417 crore. Hence the fertilizer price has increased,” he alleged.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 9:26:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/farmers-warn-of-a-struggle-if-hike-in-fertilizer-price-is-not-withdrawn/article34286095.ece

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