Farmers to get fertiliser subsidy directly: Govt

New Delhi: Amid allegations that fertiliser subsidies are not reaching the beneficiaries, the government today said it intended to give subsidy to farmers directly and roll out a project by June-end under which subsidy would be checked at the retailers level.

Replying to a short notice question, MoS Chemicals and Fertilisers Srikant Jena said, "We have decided that from June onwards subsidy will be checked. Once retailers get the stock, subsidy will be released after identifying the beneficiary farmers. A pilot project is on …hope it will be implemented all over the country by June-end."

He said, "A committee under the chairmanship of Nandan Nilekani has worked out a scheme." The Finance Minister has announced in the Budget speech that subsidy will be given directly to farmers.

Jena also urged states to ensure that there was no black marketing of fertilisers and asked Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh governments to lift tax and VAT on it.

Replying to Naresh Agrawal (SP), Jena said subsidy was adequate and accounted for over Rs 90,000 crore in 2011-12 but since India depended heavily on import of fertiliser raw material, prices were based on international market rates. "We import 90 per cent P&K (phosphatic and potash) fertiliser," he said adding prices of DAP and complex fertilisers also varied as per international market rates.

Jena said Government has decided to revive three sick fertiliser units, including one in Talcher in Odisha. Earlier, Parshottam Khodabhai Rupala (BJP) said the stock of urea was almost nil in April and May, but Jena did not agree.