The Centre on Wednesday announced nutrient-based subsidy rates for phosphatic and potassic fertilizers for the upcoming Kharif crop season, which runs from April to September, to reduce the burden on farmers due to rising global raw materials prices.
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the proposal to increase the subsidy from Rs 1,650 to Rs 2,500 per bag which will cost the exchequer a total of Rs 60,939 crore. New subsidy rates will apply from 1 April. The subsidy will cover the period from September 2022, till the end of the Kharif season.
"Subsidy approved by Cabinet for the Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) Kharif-2022 (from 01.04.2022 to 30.09.2022) will be Rs. 60,939.23 Crores including support for indigenous fertilizer (SSP) through freight subsidy and additional support for indigenous manufacturing and imports of Di-ammonium phosphate (DAP)," Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur told reporters here.
The increase in the international prices of DAP and its raw materials have been primarily absorbed by the Union Government.
He also said the subsidy of Rs 2,501 rupees for each 50 kg bag of the crop nutrient diammonium phosphate will retain the price at Rs 1,350 rupees in the domestic market. Farmers need not pay more money for fertilizer despite the rising global prices, he said.
The government took the decision to raise the fertilisers subsidy after a jump in the prices of crop nutrients in international markets, mainly due to supply chain disruption after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
In accordance with its farmer-friendly approach, the Govt. is committed to ensuring the availability of P&K fertilizers to the farmers at affordable prices, the minister said.
Average the Centre spent Rs 80,000-85,000 crore in a year for fertilizer subsidy but for the past few years, it has been increasing due to the rise in raw material prices in the global market.
With the Ukraine war hitting the global supply chain, the Indian fertilizer subsidy is likely to jump to Rs 2.30 lakh crore in the current fiscal against the FY23 budget estimate of Rs 1.05 trillion.
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