Fuel prices zoom, but Bhagwanth Khuba says no outrage among people

Minister claims people are happy as inflation is under control; Says no shortage of fertiliser in Karnataka
Union Minister for State for Chemicals and Fertilisers Bhagwanth Khuba addresses the media in Bengaluru. (Photo | Nagaraja Gadekal, EPS)
Union Minister for State for Chemicals and Fertilisers Bhagwanth Khuba addresses the media in Bengaluru. (Photo | Nagaraja Gadekal, EPS)

BENGALURU: At a time when prices of diesel and petrol have hit record high levels, Union Minister for State for Chemicals and Fertilisers Bhagwanth Khuba has claimed that there is no public outrage over fuel prices. “Where is the outrage?” he questioned, responding to a question on rise in prices of fuel and essential commodities at a press conference. 

Khuba also said that the NDA government has controlled inflation and kept prices of essential commodities under control. “People are happy. The Union Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has controlled inflation in a much better manner than the previous UPA regime. Congress leaders are unnecessarily creating chaos. There is no public outrage. People are happy with our government,” the minister added. 

The Bidar MP said the fuel price hike was related to oil bonds imposed by the UPA government. 
Meanwhile, Khuba also said there was no shortage of fertilisers in Karnataka, as alleged by Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah. “If such rumours are spread, it will create artificial shortage as farmers will buy more stock of fertiliser than required. This will also encourage middlemen,” Khuba said.  He blamed Congress leaders of making such statements to win the October 30 Sindagi and Hanagal bypolls. “They are making such statements out of fear and frustration as they are aware they will not win the bypolls. Siddaramaiah spoke about golibar in 2008... He should realise it was an irresponsible government ruling at the Centre then,” the minister said.

On shortage of diammonium phosphate (DAP), Khuba said there is an alternative fertiliser available which is better than DAP. “Farmers from Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh and even a few from Karnataka are using other complex fertilisers and benefiting from it. It is more effective than DAP. This is why the government is recommending the purchase of complex fertiliser which is available for Rs 900-Rs 1,300 per bag. There is no need to do politics over fertilisers. Farmers are interested in using complex manure,” he added. 

During his recent visit to New Delhi, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had sought an increase in supply of DAP to Karnataka to overcome the shortage. Khuba said that though raw material for DAP has been increasing for the past few months, the Union Government had not hiked prices and it was still being sold for Rs 1,200 per bag. “As on date, 22.33 lakh MT of urea is available with Karnataka. Similarly, 3.2 lakh MT of muriate of potash (MOP) is available. I was told about MOP shortage in Mysuru, Hassan and 
Kodagu. I have directed officials to procure 3,000 MT from the Centre,” he added. 

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