Fertiliser prices slashed
The government approved a new fertiliser pricing policy on Thursday, which will reduce the prices of some fertilisers by over Rs 1,400 per tonne and encourage farmers to shift to nutrient-based organic manures.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh approved the new scheme. The government said the new nutrient-based pricing policy is aimed at lowering prices and providing adequate supplies to farmers.
“The prices of complex fertilisers will decline substantially. It will come down by an average of Rs 1,416 per tonne or Rs 70 per bag,” Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said after the CCEA meeting.
The government also approved the uniform freight subsidy scheme for fertilisers, which is based on actual freight. The fertiliser industry has long been demanding such a scheme, unlike the current system under which companies receive a fixed amount as freight irrespective of distance between the production plant and the point of sale.
Chidambaram also said there was no shortage of fertiliser supply and asked states to remove local bottlenecks to ensure smooth movement of the products. “The fertiliser ministry assures us that there is not shortage. Adequate fertilisers are being provided,” Chidambaram said. “These bottlenecks and shortages show up here and there and should be cleared by the local government.”
Farmers in Karnataka have been agitating over the shortage of fertilisers. State Chief Minister B.S Yeddyurappa had blamed the Centre for this. “The assurances given by the Centre have not been fulfilled,” Yeddyurappa had said on Wednesday.
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