TODAY -

CPI stages protest against shortage of fertilisers
Sotinkumar questions CM N Biren over sky-high price of 'daskus'

Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, June 27 2022: CPI-Manipur State Council in association with Manipur Loumi Lup staged a sit-in protest at the party's office complex located along BT Road here on Monday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the protest, CPI Manipur secretary L Sotinkumar remarked that the BJP government would not last for long, considering the prevailing issues such as hiking of the price of fuel and other petroleum products, while increasing the monthly pay and pension of MLAs.

He then questioned why an easily available vegetable, namely Daskus (Prickly squash) is costing around Rs 100 per kg along with skyrocketing prices of other daily essential items.

In addition, almost all works have been made into contractual works, the same even covering army personnel in the form of the 4-year service period under the scheme, Agnipath.

Bir Tikendrajit international airport is also in the process of being privatised, he added.

Sotinkumar also said that the rising prices of petroleum products has also affected the agricultural sector as farmers do not have the money and often have to suffer debt in buying the fuel.

Instead, others are taking advantage of the situation and focussing on avenues that will make money such as setting up schools and petrol pumps in arable lands.

When the Left party was in power all the fields used to sport a beautiful green colour and farmers used to have the hope of engaging in multiple cropping.

However, the situation is drastically different now and many are staying away from agricultural sector as a result.

Amidst this, the government is making zero effort to provide adequate supply of fertilisers.

Recently, 6 trucks loaded with fertilisers, which were to be transported to Myanmar, were seized in Churachandpur.

The fertilizer quota for the state is around 20,000 tonnes, but the government claims to have pur chased the same for the state.

Stressing the need to investigate how much fertilizers have been transported to Myanmar till date, Sotinkumar remarked that the society has become too profit-oriented.

An example of this is the drug business.

Myanmar needs lots of fertilisers to grow and cultivate poppy plantations and as such, one will be tempted to sell the fertilisers in black.

In this regard, the security agencies are also not sincere, as the fertilisers could not have been smuggled to Myanmar undetected.

However, it must be remembered that the BJP and Akali-government in Punjab was toppled after the parties' leaders were found to be part of the drug trade.

"The people of Manipur are quite good in this aspect", he said, adding "they help convert the black money into white money by taking money for votes from these drug and fertiliser kingpins, thereby cutting off their own feet".

Sotinkumar then recounted that the Left party once used to be part of the state government, with himself being the agriculture minister.

There was no issue of fertiliser shortages then, with district officer fertilizer tasked with collecting the fertilisers and distributing the same to people at government rate.

However, the present scene fails to ascertain when the fertilisers would be distributed even after the time for spraying has ended.

So far, 9000 bags of fertilisers have arrived.in the state and the MLAs have been provided with 600 bags each.

Only two loads of these will be distributed to the people by the MLAs" workers and the rest will be sold off in the black market for profit-making purposes.

The government neither has made any specific policy to put an end to this matter nor called for an all-political party meet, but is rather focussed on how to make a profit from anything related, he alleged.


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