Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers Ananth Kumar has ruled out any raise in the price of urea. Replying to a discussion on a private members bill in the Rajya Sabha, he said that the government is not thinking of removing any subsidy, on any fertilizers or those relating to food security of India.
Kumar also pointed out that government is making every effort to increase production of fertilizers in the country by reviving closed fertilizer companies at Gorakhpur, Talcher and at Ramagundam to begin with. He also proposed that the issue of reviving FACT can be discussed further with finance minister and the Chief Minister of Kerala. The Minister said government would extend subsidy to the three southern-based fertiliser companies in Mangalore, Chennai and Tuticorin, provided the State governments waive VAT on Nephtha-based on which these plants are producing fertilizer at a high cost.
While calling for a comprehensive fertilizer policy, he said there should a scientific debate on how to rationalize Nutrient-based subsidy (NBS) to bring down prices of N-P-K fertilizers. We need to take urea, NPK, organic, bio-fertilisers and micro nutrients into consideration while discussing issues of imbalanced use of chemical fertilizers, he remarked. The minister hoped that the announcement in the budget for setting up over thousand soil testing centers would help farmers to plan the mix of fertilizers that they should use.