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Need to rationalise fertiliser subsidy policies: Secy

With a rise in imbalanced use of soil nutrients by farmers, the government on Friday said there was a need to rationalise fertiliser subsidy policies.

“There is a need for rationalisation of fertiliser subsidy policies. Every time, people talk about reforms in fertiliser sector, there are questions, how the new policies will benefit farmers and would they be progressive,” Fertiliser Secretary J K Mohapatra said.

He was speaking at a conference on ‘Understanding Fertiliser Use and Subsidy’, organised by farmers’ forum Bharat Krishak Samaj.

He added the policies should be focused on providing greater benefit to farmers and lead to balanced use of fertilisers.

Speaking at the same conference, IFFCO Managing Director U S Awasthi emphasised on raising urea prices, which he said, was the root cause of imbalanced use of fertilisers and rising subsidy bill.

“Today, urea, a controlled commodity, is available at about Rs 5.30 a kg, even less than the cost of salt and that’s why farmers are using it in place of Phosphoric (P) and Potassic (K) fertilisers that have been partially decontrolled,” Awasthi said.

The country’s largest fertiliser manufacturer also advocated for direct transfer of subsidy on soil nutrient to farmers and said the government policies should focus on raising domestic production.

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