Kolkata: Strongly condemning the hike in urea prices, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday called the "so called reforms" as only adding to the suffering of the common man and called for protests against the measures.

"It is very distressing to know that prices of fertilizers have been further increased. I have lost count of the number of times the prices of fertilizers have been enhanced during the UPA-II regime. The increase of fertilizer prices will be affecting the poor farmers and also the common people. I strongly condemn this price rise," Banerjee posted on Facebook.

"One after another - increase in diesel price, restriction on (supply of subsidised) LPG (cooking gas) cylinders, introduction of FDI in retail, in pensions, in insurance  are only putting more and more burden on the common people."

“The so-called reforms are nothing but measures that would add woes and sufferings to the common people. Let us all protest," Banerjee, also the Trinamool Congress supremo, wrote on the social networking site.

The union cabinet on Thursday decided to hike the prices of urea-based fertilisers by Rs.50 per tonne.

The increase in prices will help reduce the government's fertiliser subsidy bill, estimated to touch Rs.65,000 crore this fiscal year.

The hike comes two weeks after union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram wrote to Fertiliser Minister M.K. Alagiri, asking him to expedite the process of increasing urea prices.

(Agencies)

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