State warns traders against sale of fertilisers at inflated rates to farmers

KOLKATA: The state Agriculture department on Wednesday warned the fertiliser traders against selling the chemical nutrients to farmers at an inflated price.

The traders have also been directed not to push or force the farmers in buying fertilisers of their own choice.

State Agriculture minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay in presence of senior officials of his department held a video conference with the fertiliser traders after receiving complaints from a number of districts where a section of traders had been charged beyond the retail price."We have standing instructions that no trader can charge more than the retail price from the farmers. They also cannot compel or force a farmer to buy any type of fertiliser of their choice. We have made it clear that the state government will act tough against such practice," Chattopadhyay said.Fertilisers like DAP (diammonium phosphate) which is usually sold at Rs 1,200 per bag (50 kg) have been sold at Rs 1,700 per bag. Complaints of charging hefty price have come particularly from Hooghly, East Burdwan, West Midnapore and Bankura districts.

A section of traders pointed out in the virtual meet that they were being charged higher rates for transportation of fertiliser through train. The department has asked them to write a letter to the concerned department at the Centre on this issue of high charging by the Railways and also send another copy to the department so that the latter can take it at the appropriate level.

The Agriculture department will set up around 200 more Custom Hiring Centre (CHC)for supply of farm implements to small, marginal and poor farmers at subsidized rates on hire.

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