Millennium Post

After LPG, Govt mulls direct fertiliser subsidy

“The proposal for direct subsidy transfer to all farmers is under consideration of the government... We are considering it. It should be done shortly,” Kumar said while responding to questions in the Lok Sabha. The government is already transferring subsidies through Direct Benefit Transfer scheme to LPG consumers.

With regard to concerns about short fall in supply of fertilisers, the Union Minister said, “There is no shortage of fertilisers in the country... In some states there are issues with the distribution system. If there is any problem, it is the responsibility of (respective) state governments.” When some members from Uttar Pradesh raised concerns about shortage of fertilisers in their state, the Minister said, “if there is any blackmarketing happening, then they should ask the UP government.”

The response elicited sharp protests from the Opposition, especially SP members. Kumar said both during the rabi and kharif seasons, adequate amount of fertiliser was supplied.

This month, the demand for urea is estimated at around 13 lakh Metric Tonne and the government has already sent about 23 lakh MT to the states, he said. Insisting that there is no dearth of fertilisers, Kumar said, “we have sent advisories to state governments and they can carry out raids in cases of black marketing of fertilisers is happening.”

According to the Minister, urea is sold at Rs 5,360 per metric tonne in India while in neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh, it is sold at about Rs 22,000 per tonne. Mostly, urea from the country is smuggled to these countries, he added.

Subsidy on urea and 22 grades of phosphatic & potassic (P&K fertilisers is passed on to farmers through fertiliser companies in the form of lower maximum retail price (MRP).

“While urea is provided at government fixed price of Rs 5,360 per metric tonne (excluding taxes), the P&K fertilisers are provided to farmers at subsidised prices based on the nutrient content on each grade of P&K fertiliser,” Kumar said.

Any sale above the printed MRP is punishable under the Essential Commodities Act.

“In order to check whether the prices fixed by the fertiliser companies are reasonable, the companies are required to submit cost data of their fertiliser products so that the government can ensure that the subsidy has been passed on to the farmers. Thus all the farmers are benefited from the grant of subsidy on fertilisers,” the Minister said.
Next Story
Share it