GSFC issues statement, briefs media over underweight DAP bagsMay 13, 2019
Gandhinagar: Gujarat government today said that the sale and supply of the Sardar DAP fertilizer bags of the state run Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals (GSFC) would be normalize in a day or two.
Additional Chief Secretary of the Agriculture, Farmers Welfare & Co-operation Department, Sanjay Prasad said that in a day or two the sale of GSFC fertilizers would be normalized.
‘After the loss of some weight in the fertilizers sacks due to technical reasons, the sale was stopped. The sacks with less weight are to be replaced with new ones. In those depots where there were enough numbers of proper weight sacks, the sell would start earlier and at some other places where the new sacks are to be sent, it might take a day more,’ he said.
He also said that the government would change the sacks with less weight bought by the farmers with the new ones.
Chief Secretary J N Singh had a meeting with GSFC Managing Director Sujit Gulati who had claimed that the decrease in the weight of the fertilizer sacks of the government run company was most likely due to the hot weather and loss of humidity but it would be compensated by replacing the old sacks and filling up 120 gm more in each of the new 50 kg bag.
Meanwhile, Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals (GSFC) Managing Director Sujit Gulati IAS today claimed that the decrease in the weight of the fertilizer sacks of the government run company was most likely due to the hot weather and loss of humidity but it would be compensated by replacing the old sacks and filling up 120 gm more in each of the new 50 kg bag.
Gulati said that that the weight of the fertilizer bags was 50 kg at the time of packing and the loss of weight was noticed after distribution. However the old sacks with loss of weight would be replaced with new ones. In the new sacks 120 gm more fertilizer would be packed to compensate the losses.
He also said that primarily no fault has been found in packaging of the fertilizer bags. He, however, added that if in due course of investigation any involvement of any employee would be found, strict action would be taken.
As the season of DAP consumption has yet not started, around 10% stock of total 80,000 mt which comes to 8,000 mt might have reached farmers. If each bag supplied is underweight by 300 gram, the total value comes to Rs. 16 lakh.
It’s mainly a technical issue due to which this underweight issue has occurred. A high-level committee has been formed to prevent this in future. Its report will be out in a week.
The plant of DAP supply at Sikka in Jamnagar has automatic machine installed. There is a random checking system in place. So far DAP is measured and then it is filled in bags. We are now planning to install ‘weigh in motion technology’ which shall make the system human-error free. In addition to this, each bag will have digital printing mentioning the date and time of output.
The company has erected electronic weigh scales at all retail outlets. Instruction in this connection will be displayed so that customer can weigh the bag before purchase.
GSFC MD Sujit Gulati (IAS) in interaction with media persons said, ‘a committee has been asked to check overweight issue. A committee will be headed by outsider – a retired GNFC official. There are 8 lines and each pack 12-14 DAP bags per minute. An automatic weigh scale might have suffered some issue in its settings. Due to heavy demand and huge production, it is not possible to check each bag physically. We have stopped selling DAP bags for last two days. The bags that are found underweight will be brought to the plant and refilled. They shall be standardized and sold in the market.’
Gulati apologized for the trouble, the farmers faced and said the company is ready to exchange the bags that are found underweight. Gulati said the new machine will be erected in a week to ten days period to make sure that underweight issues don’t occur in future.
Notably, Gujarat government had on May 10 ordered probe in to the issue of alleged ‘less’ weight of the sacks of fertilizers sold by Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals (GSFC). It had also ordered a complete ban on sale of such fertilizers for two days.
The opposition Congress had made it an issue. GPCC president Amit Chavda who had visited a fertilizer shop and checked the fertilizer sacks weight, alleged that the weight of 50 kg sacks were less by 200 gms to 1 kg.
Party MLA Harshad Ribadiya today held demonstration here on the issue and alleged that it was a scam and was going on for last five years. He demanded compensation for the farmers.
‘Earlier we had seen Rs 4000 crore groundnut scam and then Tuver pulse scam and now this fertilizer issue clearly shows that the government was hand in glove with the officials of the government run fertilizers companies in this matter,’ he told newsmen.
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