Assam: Steps taken against 1,200 traders for anomaly in lifting, stocking of urea
Agriculture Minister Atul Bora

Guwahati: The Assam government has taken action against more than 1,200 urea traders recently for not following rules in collecting the fertiliser from the government and keeping stocks, Agriculture Minister Atul Bora said on Monday.

The administration is keeping a close watch on urea traders following allegations that some of them resorted to black marketing and created an artificial shortage, Bora said.

He said that an enquiry was conducted into several such allegations.

During our investigation, it has come to light that many urea traders do not lift their quota from the government distribution point, while others who already have existing stock continue to pick their quota, Bora told a press conference.

These traders who hoard urea try to manipulate the market price, he said.

Bora said that licenses of three wholesale urea traders and 1,272 retailers have been suspended following detection of such anomalies in lifting and stocking of the fertiliser in recent times.

The minister also said that coordination between the department, traders and farmers will be further streamlined to ensure that there is no artificial increase in the price of urea in the state.

He said that the introduction of the mandatory Point of Sale device at the urea traders’ end has led to better monitoring of the situation by the authorities.

The Assam Cabinet had in May decided to formulate a standard operating procedure for fertiliser distribution, especially urea, which is a controlled item under the Essential Commodities Act, 1956, to prevent its leakage and black marketing.

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