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Business News/ News / India/  Cabinet approves 24,420 crore fertilizer subsidy for 2024 kharif season

Cabinet approves ₹24,420 crore fertilizer subsidy for 2024 kharif season

To reduce dependence on DAP imports, the Cabinet also approved the inclusion of three new fertilizer grades under the NBS scheme

The Union Budget allocated ₹1.64 trillion for fertilizer subsidy for FY25, lower than the revised estimate of ₹1.88 trillion allotted for FY24. (File Photo: Mint). Premium
The Union Budget allocated 1.64 trillion for fertilizer subsidy for FY25, lower than the revised estimate of 1.88 trillion allotted for FY24. (File Photo: Mint).

New Delhi: The government on Thursday approved a subsidy of 24,420 crore for phosphatic and potassic (P&K) fertilizers, adding three new grades to aid farmers and enhance the productivity of oilseeds and pulses. 

The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the Department of Fertilizers' proposal to set nutrient-based subsidy (NBS) rates for the 2024-25 kharif sowing season, which runs from April to September, according to an official statement.

“Despite rising prices of fertilizers in the global market, we have decided to keep the prices the same as the last season," said minister Anurag Thakur at a press briefing after the Cabinet meeting.

The minister said the subsidy on Nitrogen (N) has been fixed at 47.02 per kg, phosphatic (P) at 28.72 per kg, potassic (K) at 2.38 per kg and Sulphur (S) at 1.89 per kg for 2024 kharif season.

The subsidy on phosphatic fertilisers has been increased to 28.72 per kg for the 2024 kharif season from 20.82 per kg in the 2023 rabi season. However, the subsidy on nitrogen (N), potassic (K) and Sulphur (S) has been kept unchanged for 2024 kharif season.

The subsidy on di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) will continue at 4,500 per tonne.

As such, DAP-based fertilizers will be available for 1,350 per bag, while muriate of phosphate (MOP) fertilizers will be available for 1,670 a bag, and NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) for 1,470 per bag.

For the 2023-24 kharif season, a subsidy of 38,000 crore was announced.

The Union Budget for fiscal year 2024-25 (FY25) allocated 1.64 trillion for fertilizer subsidy, lower than the revised estimate of 1.88 trillion allotted for FY24.

Though India is moving toward gaining self-sufficiency in urea, it still depends on imports to meet its rock phosphate demand. Rock phosphate is the key raw material for DAP and NPK fertilizers. 

India is dependent on imports for muriate of potash and imports nearly 5 million tonnes of phosphate rock, 2.5 million tonnes of phosphoric acid and 3 million tonnes of DAP annually. In the case of diammonium phosphate, around 60% of the supply is imported. In addition, 25% of urea and 15% of NPK fertilizer requirements are met through imports.

Since its inception in 2010, the NBS scheme has played a pivotal role in ensuring farmers have access to essential nutrients at subsidized prices, now expanded to cover 25 grades of P&K fertilizers for both rabi and kharif seasons.

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Puja Das
Puja Das is a New Delhi based reporter, covering food, farm, fertiliser, water, and climate change policies for Mint. Puja reports on food security, farmers' distress and how the agriculture sector is impacting India's rural economy along with policy initiatives to help meet the pledges made at COP21 in Paris. Puja holds a post-graduation degree in Broadcast Journalism from the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media, Bangalore.
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Published: 29 Feb 2024, 05:00 PM IST
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