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Somatirtha Purohit

The Odisha Assembly on Wednesday witnessed uproar over irregularities in fertilizer distribution and black marketing.

Congress MLA Santosh Singh Saluja accused that whatever the concerned minister said was based on the report submitted by the officer of the department.

"The minister should make it clear how much manure has been given to the licensed shopkeepers and other co-operative societies," Saluja demanded.

Saluja added, "Utkal Urea is being sold at Rs 285 per bag and Nagarjuna Urea at Rs 287 per bag, but these are sold over Rs 400 in the market with approximate Rs 165 hike."

Saluja accused the government of not taking appropriate action against the dealers which is giving them encouragement to sell the manures and fertilizers at price they want.

On the other hand, Pipili MLA Rudra Pratap Maharathy said that the seeds which the farmers are getting are not yielding properly.

"Around fifty percent of the seeds which were given during Kharif season by the government is not germinating properly, due to which the poor farmers are forced to buy the seed from the market at a high price, " Pipili MLA Rudra Pratap Maharathy said.

Over the irregularities in the distribution of fertilizer, the Pipili MLA said the supply is not as per the demand.

He added, "Even if the supply is there as per the demand, it is not reaching to the farmers in time. Till now only 25 per cent of fertilizers allotted for the farmers have been supplied." 
  
Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Empowerment, Ranendra Pratap Swain answered the issues raised by the political leaders and assured proper action will be taken.

"The licensed dealers distribute fertilizers on the basis of Point of Sale (POS), Aaadhar authentication, fingerprint or mobile OTP," Swain said.

He said, "As per the requirement and supply of the fertilizers to Odisha, we gave requirement of 3.90 metric tonnes for the period of April 1 to June 30, but got 3.64 metric tonnes only."

"For the period of July, August and September, which is a pick period, we gave requirement of 2.40 metric tonne but till now we got only 46, 466 metric tonnes," the minister added.

Earlier, the assembly witnessed adjournments after Opposition parties -- Congress and BJP -- created a ruckus over the infamous slapping of a tribal woman by Chitrakonda SDPO Anshuman Dwivedi. 

Congress MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati demanded a magistrate-level probe into the incident. He also demanded immediate suspension of the accused SDPO.

On the other hand, MLA Santosh Singh Saluja demanded a CBI probe while MLA Narasingha Mishra demanded a judicial probe into the incident. The BJP also echoed the demands of Congress.

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