Millennium Post

Centre will not hike urea price, subsidy to continue

Fertiliser Minister Ananth Kumar said in the Rajya Sabha that government is exploring possibilities on how to bring down the prices of other partially decontrolled fertilisers like Nitrogen Phosphate and Potassium (NPK) and Di-ammonium Phosphate (DAP). He also said that a comprehensive fertiliser policy is also on the cards which will take a balanced view of the production and distribution aspects.

"Let me clear all misgivings that the Narendra Modi government is doing away with the subsidy on fertilizer or is raising the prices of urea. Subsidy is provided for farmers security and it would continue to remain so," he said on a Private Member's Bill.

"We are committed not to raise the minimum retail prices of urea. ...The prices of NPK fertilisers are partially decontrolled and we are keeping an eye on their prices. We are examining how to bring down the prices of NPK and other fertiliser further," he said.

Urea is the only fertiliser product that remains under full price control of the government. In 2010, the government had partially freed phosphatic and potassium fertiliser prices by announcing the Nutrient-Based Subsidy (NBS) Policy.

After his assurance, the bill seeking to fix maximum retail price of all fertilizers was withdrawn through voice vote as Vivek Gupta, who had moved the bill, was not present. The minister said government has also decided to extend subsidy to three southern-based fertiliser companies in Mangalore, Chennai and Tuticorin. Stating that the UPA government had decided in 2010 to convert these three companies into gas-based units, he said government was considering ways to transform them into their new avataar.

Noting that the government is pushing for increasing production of urea, he said plans are afoot to revive three plants in Gorakhpur, Talcher and Ramagundam.
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