Drop Alagiri over subsidy losses, Jayalalithaa tells PM

Chennai, Jan 24 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa Thursday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to dismiss union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister M.K. Alagiri and order an investigation into the loss of around Rs.1,000 crore in subsidies.

"When the Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers (Srikant Kumar Jena) himself gave a note to prevent loss in his department, Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers Alagiri neglected that resulting in a loss of around Rs.1,000 crore to the government and the farmers," Jayalalithaa said in a statement.

Alagiri is DMK chief M. Karunanidhi's son.

Jayalalithaa said the prime minister should dismiss Alagiri from his cabinet and order a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe so that the loss is not only recovered but also criminal action is taken against those responsible for the loss.

Jayalalithaa charged that the centre's policy of Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) has resulted in increase in retail prices of fertilisers.

Referring to news reports, Jayalalithaa said Jena had noted that fertiliser companies last June retailed diammonium phosphate (DAP) at Rs.25,000 per tonne and the government gave a subsidy of Rs.14,300 per tonne. The price of imported DAP was at Rs.31,900 and fertiliser companies made an undue profit of around Rs.5,000 per tonne.

She said Jena had also brought to Alagiri's notice that fertiliser companies in respect of muriate of potash (MOP) got Rs.16,054 per tonne during 2011-12, which is in excess of around Rs.5,500 per tonne.

Referring to news reports, she said Jena had sent a note to Alagiri that fertiliser companies had profited unduly by around Rs.4000-5000 per tonne in DAP and around Rs.6,000 per tonne in complex fertilisers.

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