Prices of phosphatic (P) and potassic (K) fertiliesrs are determined by the market as subsidies provided by the government are minimal and fixed. These fertilisres are mostly imported.
The CBI has registered a case of corruption against US Awasthi, former managing director of the country’s largest fertiliser co-operative Iffco, and former managing director of Indian Potash PS Gahlaut, among others, for alleged irregularities in fertiliser imports.
The agency has launched a search operation at 12 premises linked to Awasthi and Gahlaut in Delhi, Mumbai and Gurugram, according to a PTI report.
In a stetement, the CBI said: “It was also alleged that in order to cheat government of India by claiming higher subsidy, these officials of Iffco and IPL have been importing fertilizers and raw materials through Kisan International Trading FZE in Dubai (a subsidiary of Iffco) and other middlemen at highly inflated rates covering the commission meant for the accused including then MD of Iffco and then MD of IPL, which was paid/transferred by the overseas suppliers to the accused officials through sham transactions involving the said accused.”
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The agency alleged that Iffco and IPL have been importing huge quantities of fertilizers running into several thousands of tonne and raw materials for fertilizers from various foreign suppliers. The government has been providing subsidy on fertilizers to facilitate the supply of the key input to farmers at reasonable rates, although the quantum of the dole-out varies, depending on the type of fertilisers.
Prices of phosphatic (P) and potassic (K) fertiliesrs are determined by the market as subsidies provided by the government are minimal and fixed. These fertilisres are mostly imported. The budget allocation for subsidy of P and K fertilisers for FY 22 has been reduced to Rs 20,720 crore from about Rs 39,000 crore in FY 21 (RE).
In last few months, the international prices of raw materials of DAP and potash fertilizers have increased sharply, the government said last week. Though DAP prices in India were not raised by the companies till last month, some companies have now increased the rate, it said on May 15.
“Government is fully sensitive to the concerns of farmers and is already taking steps to tackle the situation so that farming community can be saved from the effects of this price rise,” fertiliser ministry had said, adding it is also considering (to increase) the subsidy rates to offset the rise in international prices.
Farmers unions, protesting against the three farm laws, on Tuesday had demanded immediate rollback of the increase in DAP prices, saying costs of agricultural inputs have already gone up with high prices of diesel.
Iffco has increased the price of 50 kg bag of DAP by 58%. Till last month, the packet was available for `1,200 and now as new packet of revised price has also started coming to the market, farmers are paying Rs 1,900, said a farmer leader.