Krishi VaartaOutlook Agriculture
Fertilizer Ministry Requests Additional Rs. 23,000 Crore Subsidy
The Ministry of Fertilizer has requested an additional Rs. 23,000 crore from the Ministry of Finance to meet the fertilizer subsidy requirement in the January-March quarter. A senior government official of the Fertilizer Ministry said that the subsidy of Rs. 23,283 crore was paid to fertilizer companies in December and about Rs. 13,056 crore of budget allocation was left to the Ministry. An additional budget of Rs. 23,000 crore was sought to meet the subsidy requirement for the current quarter.
The government has regularly paid subsidies to fertilizer companies with budget allocations. For the current financial year, the government allocated a budget of Rs. 73,439.85 crore for the payment of the fertilizer subsidy. While the government has paid Rs. 60,383.79 to fertilizer companies until December, fertilizers are not granted direct subsidies to farmers, but to fertilizer companies.
The fertilizer ministry provides subsidies through the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme, which is different from traditional DBT applicable to LPG. Under the DBT fertilizer system, fertilizers are provided to farmers/beneficiaries at concessional prices, and subsidies are issued to companies instead of beneficiaries on the basis of actual sales by retailers. Beneficiaries are identified by Aadhaar card, Kisan credit card, and Voter ID.
Source - Outlook Agriculture, January 15, 2019