Fertiliser subsidy may exceed revised estimates by ₹10K cr; fiscal deficit to remain close to 6.9% in FY22

The government's fertiliser subsidy bill in the current fiscal year may go up by about 10,000 crore due to the Russia-Ukraine war, but higher tax revenues will help keep fiscal deficit close to the estimated 6.9% level, an official said

PTI
First Published13 Mar 2022
Chambal Fertilisers net profit stood at Rs130.18 crore in the October- December period of last fiscal. Photo: Hindustan Times
Chambal Fertilisers net profit stood at Rs130.18 crore in the October- December period of last fiscal. Photo: Hindustan Times

The government's fertiliser subsidy bill in the current fiscal year may go up by about 10,000 crore due to the Russia-Ukraine war, but higher tax revenues will help keep fiscal deficit close to the estimated 6.9% level, an official said.

The official further said the oil prices are expected to cool in the next 2-3 months on higher production from the US and OPEC member countries.

The Revised Estimates (RE) had pegged the fertiliser subsidy at over 1.40 lakh crore in current fiscal year, while the Budget Estimate (BE) for next fiscal year is estimated at over 1.05 lakh crore.

"We expect oil prices to cool in next 2-3 months. The rising oil prices would not alter the budget math of the government much in the current fiscal except for fertiliser subsidy which is likely to go up by about 10,000 crore," the official said.

The official further said that since farmers need to stock up fertilisers before the beginning of the sowing season, import of potash -- a key component in fertiliser manufacturing-- cannot wait for international prices to cool.

Also, rise in prices of natural gas, a key raw material for the manufacturing of urea and comprising nearly 70% of the total cost of producing urea, in the global market would lead to rise in domestic prices of urea.

International crude oil prices shot up to 14-year high of $140 per barrel early last week before retracting to near $112 on Friday. But even this rate is 45% higher than the $80-87 range of January when most of the Budget 2022-23 would have been prepared.

The official said that even at this elevated level of spending, the fiscal deficit would remain close to the 6.9% level in the current fiscal year as pegged in the revised estimates.

"India's fiscal deficit would be close to 6.9% as given in the revised estimate as higher tax revenues will offset the gap in the non-tax revenues and higher fertiliser subsidy outgo. As of now, we will remain close to the numbers given in the RE for this year and in the Budget Estimates for next fiscal," the official added.

In the RE for the current fiscal year ending March 31, the fiscal deficit has been revised a tad higher at 6.9% of GDP, from 6.8% estimated earlier. The deficit is projected to come down to 6.4% of GDP in the next fiscal year. 

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HomeNewsIndiaFertiliser subsidy may exceed revised estimates by ₹10K cr; fiscal deficit to remain close to 6.9% in FY22

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