Assam Opposition leader Debabrata Saikia on Wednesday said the government’s indifference towards the revival of Namrup fertilizer factory has deplored.
While talking to reporters, the senior Assam Congress leader said the BJP government has announced different schemes for improving the economic condition of the state’s farmers but the schemes have failed to make any impact.
“Previously, the farmers had been buying fertilizer at high prices and the government’s supply of low-quality seeds led to losses for the farmers, according to media reports, but the government has not instituted any probe into the matter,” Saikia said.
“The issue of fake farmers’ names included in the Prime Minister Samman Yojana has also not been given due importance,” the Congress leader said.
Demanding revival of the Namrup fertilizer factory, Saikia said, “The Namrup fertilizer factory should be revived to benefit the state’s farmers.”
He said since 2015, the government has been making repeated announcements regarding the fertilizer factory’s renovation “but nothing has emerged so far”.
“While campaigning in Assam for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had assured that the 4th unit of the Namrup fertilizer factory would be set up within 100 days of the BJP coming to power. But the factory is still using old and obsolete technologies in production.”
“In 2015, the central government had announced an allocation of Rs 4500 crore for the new unit but the decision is yet to be implemented.”
“Again, in February 2021, the Modi government was seen tom-toming its allocation of Rs 100 crore for the Namrup industry under Atmanirbhar Bharat but we have not seen proper use of the fund till now,” he said.
Saikia said at one time, a total of 5000 employees were engaged in the Namrup fertilizer plant but now only 580 permanent and 1500 temporary workers are employed.
“The BJP-led governments in the state and Centre are not giving due importance to the revival of the Namrup fertilizer plant, as a result of which the death knell has been sounded for the plant,” the Assam Congress leader said.
He said it has been reported that the poor farmers of the state are buying illegally-sourced fertilizers at high prices.
It has emerged that a syndicate is operating for the fertilizer produced in the Namrup plant.
“This has been going on for a long time now and recently, on August 28, the workers union of the Namrup plant launched an operation where 930 bags of fertilizer were found to be in the process of illegal transportation by train,” Saikia said.
“The administration tried to deal with the matter by arresting only two officials. Due to the syndicate operating, the farmers in the state are forced to buy fertilizer at higher prices,” he further said.
Seeking a CBI probe into the alleged fertilizer syndicate, Saikia said, “We demand that a CBI inquiry be instituted into the fertilizer syndicate and the guilty identified and properly punished.”
“We also urge PM Modi to abide by his promise and take steps to set up the 4th unit of the Namrup plant very soon,” he said.