Observing that the government was suffering from "a policy paralysis", Congress leader Ahmed Patel said farmers across the country were faced with "acute shortage" of urea and being forced to procure it from the black market at exorbitant prices, which were 300 times higher.

"The Prime Minister talks about land health card. When there is no urea, how is it going to help," Patel said raising the issue during Zero Hour.

Terming the situation deplorable, Kumari Selja, also Congress, cited instances of how women in Haryana had to queue up in police stations to seek coupons for urea.

Patel said there was almost no import during June-October last year, when merely about 225 lakh tonnes of urea was produced in the country which was barely able to meet the consumption requirement of 300 lakh tonnes.

The latest Rail Budget provision of hiking rail freight charges on urea was like "adding salt to their injury", as farmers in Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat and other parts continue to suffer, he said, adding the freight charges have been hiked by a whopping ten percent.
     
Selja said urea import was "barely 17.37 lakh tonnes in June-October 2014-15 as compared to 42.82 lakh tonnes in the previous fiscal."

Maintaining that the situation was so bad that smuggling of urea was also taking place, she demanded immediate measures to ensure quicker imports while saying that the farmers were "already under the sword of the Land Acquisition Bill."
      
A large number of members of Congress and other opposition parties associated with the demand.

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