The government on Saturday decided to make changes to the existing nutrient based subsidy (NBS) policy to promote domestic production of phosphatic and potassic (P&K) fertilisers amid a sharp rise in global prices.
A decision in this regard was taken in a high-level meeting chaired by Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya.
In the meeting, “…it was decided to continue support to the domestic industry for production of P&K fertilisers and propose additional provisions in the present NBS Policy to promote domestic production of P&K fertilisers in the country,” an official statement said.
This decision will help in utilising the unutilised domestic production capacity of these fertilisers and promote ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, it added.
Under the NBS policy, being implemented since April 2010, a fixed amount of subsidy which is decided on an annual basis is provided on P&K fertilisers depending on their nutrient content.
Under this policy, maximum retail price (MRP) of P&K fertilisers is fixed by the fertiliser companies as per the market dynamics at reasonable levels which is monitored by the government.
However, in the current 2020-21 fiscal, the government notified NBS rates for P&K fertilisers twice in order to keep domestic prices of these soil nutrients reasonable to farmers and ensure adequate supply.
Keeping in account high global prices, the Centre has also provided a special one time package for additional subsidy over above the NBS rates for period from October 2021 till March 2022 for Diammonium Phosphate (DAP) and three most consumed NPK fertilisers.
The government has also included potash derived from molasses under the NBS scheme with effect from October, 2021.
The country imports P&K fertilisers to meet its domestic demand. Global prices of these soil nutrients have increased continuously since early this year.
For instance, global prices of DAP had increased to USD 730 per tonne in September from USD 565 per tonne in May. They have further risen now from that level.