Amidst a rising demand for urea in the upcoming paddy-sowing season BISCOMAUN is emerging as a savior for the farmers of Bihar, according to several media reports coming from the state. According to a latest report even union minister Giriraj Kishor has invoked the state govt to follow the example of Biscomaun. The Co-operative Federation has defended its price line of Rs 265 per bag despite several odds, experts say.
How the price line is sacrosanct for Biscomaun was explained by its Chairman Sunil Kumar Singh who narrated a story where BISCOMAUN paid Rs 2000 to a whistle blower who complained of a breach in the price line in one of the selling points of Biscomaun in Mohinia (Kaimur).
Sending a photo of slip of payment to one Mr Pankaj, Chairman Singh writes “Biscomaun is pleased to pay you the money as your complaint made on my phone was found to be true after the investigation”. It bears recall that Biscomaun has made wide publicity about its unwavering price line and has also given mobile numbers in case of any complaint. “The Chairman sahib personally monitors the complaints”, said an official to Indian Cooperative.
Farmers complain that though urea is available easily in the market but it is being sold at a premium and sometimes the price goes up to Rs 500 a bag. Actually, the inflated rate of Rs 400 a bag is common, they assert.
It is not easy for the Cooperative Federation to maintain the price at Rs 265 per bag given huge crowds gathering at its counters every morning. The network of counters is yet to cover various parts of the state. Biscomaun sells urea through its 165 counters supplied by IFFCO which accounts for nearly 20 percent of the country’s urea production, “We plan to set up 25 more centres by the next year”, says Sunil Singh.
“The establishment of each counter costs about Rs 75 thousand and as we have no support from the state govt, we can only grow at our own pace”, lamented Biscomaun Chairman. Instead of partnering with Biscomaun for helping the farmers on time in procuring urea, the state govt is opposed to the current leadership of Biscomaun, complained one of the Directors on the Board of Co-op Federation.
“There is FIR on our Chairman and the accounts of Biscomaun have been frozen in an age-old PF case in which the current leadership had no role to play”, he rued. Unfazed Sunil goes about the business of selling urea and dares the state govt to initiate action against him, amidst rumour of him being arrested doing rounds.
“I am going to Maldives this month, tell my opponents if they have guts to stop me”, he dares them every now and then. Last month he organized a party of fish curry at his office and asked this correspondent to inform the Police to arrest him. The story which was read by a lakh readers was featured in these columns under the title “Probe ordered against Biscomaun; unfazed Chairman throws fish curry luncheon”.
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