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In parliament today: Much talk, little action on distressed farmers & urea power

PRS Legislative Research’s Trina Roy reports:

Rajya Sabha reconvened today for its first sitting after it was prorogued on March 28, 2015. The members in the Upper House decided to unanimously suspend the scheduled business of the day and take up a discussion on farmers’ distress and agrarian crisis. This was decided in context of the incident of the farmer’s suicide in Delhi yesterday.

Question Hour in Lok Sabha saw disruptions as opposition members demanded the Prime Minister’s statement with regard to the same incident. The issue was raised during Zero hour and several members participated in the debate expressing their condolences. At the end of the discussion the Minister of Home Affairs stated that he has asked for a probe by the Crime Branch to be completed soon. The Prime Minister also made a brief statement in the House seeking suggestions from the members to address this issue.

The Lower House also discussed the Demand for Grants of the Ministry of Chemical and Fertilizers today. Mr. Ananth Kumar, the Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers, replied at the end of the debate and the Demand for Grants was passed by the House. The Minister reaffirmed the government’s target to produce 32 million tonne of urea and stated that the plan for reviving urea plants had begun.

Further, the Minister stated that nine more fertilizer plants will be set up in the next five years to help India move towards becoming a urea exporting country. The Minister pointed out that the government faced a challenge with regard to fertilizer subsidies but in the coming years direct benefit transfers to farmers would be made possible.

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