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Business News/ News / India/  Union Cabinet approves NPK fertiliser subsidy for 2023-24 rabi season
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Union Cabinet approves NPK fertiliser subsidy for 2023-24 rabi season

The subsidy will be based on approved rates to ensure adequate availability and affordable prices for farmers, Union I&B Minister Anurag Thakur said

Farmers will get nitrogen fertiliser at a subsidised rate of ₹47.02 a kg, phosphorus fertiliser at ₹20.82 a kg, and potassium fertiliser at ₹2.38 a kg (Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint)Premium
Farmers will get nitrogen fertiliser at a subsidised rate of 47.02 a kg, phosphorus fertiliser at 20.82 a kg, and potassium fertiliser at 2.38 a kg (Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint)

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a 22,303-crore subsidy for phosphatic and potassic (P&K) fertilisers and the nutrient-based subsidy (NBS) rates for nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK) fertilisers for the 2023-24 Rabi season amid falling international prices.

In the previous rabi season, the cabinet approved a 51,875 crore NBS subsidy, including support for indigenous fertilizer (SSP) through a freight subsidy.

The subsidy on P&K fertilizers will be based on approved rates to ensure adequate availability and affordable prices for farmers, Union I&B Minister Anurag Thakur said.

The cabinet's decision brings two significant benefits, he added. Firstly, it will ensure P&K fertilizers are available to farmers at affordable prices during the ongoing Rabi season that began this month. Secondly, it rationalizes the subsidy on P&K fertilizers, ensuring effective and efficient use of government resources.

“The cabinet decision will have the two-fold benefit of ensuring availability of P&K fertilizers to farmers at subsidized, affordable and reasonable prices during Rabi season and will also ensure rationalization of subsidy on P&K fertilizers," Thakur said. 

Farmers will get nitrogen fertiliser at a subsidised rate of 47.02 a kg, phosphorus fertiliser at 20.82 a kg, and potassium fertiliser at 2.38 a kg.

The government allocated a subsidy of 1.08 lakh crore for the 2023-24 kharif season ended September, including a 70,000 crore subsidy for urea and 38,000 crore for DAP and other fertilisers.

Rabi crops are sown in winter and harvested in spring. Wheat, barley, mustard, chana (gram), masur (lentil), peas, potato, tomato, beet, cabbage, garlic, onion, cumin, coriander, linseed, sunflower, and cauliflower are some popular rabi crops that are sown around mid-November.

The NBS scheme, which governs the subsidy on P&K fertilizers, has been instrumental in ensuring the availability of essential nutrients to farmers at subsidized prices since 1 April 2010.

During the rabi and kharif seasons, the government makes 25 grades of P&K fertilizers available to farmers at subsidised prices through fertilizer manufacturers or importers.

“The government is committed to ensuring the availability of P&K fertilizers to farmers at affordable prices. In view of the recent trends in the international prices of fertilizers & inputs such as urea, DAP, MOP and sulphur, the government has decided to approve the NBS rates for Rabi 2023-24 effective from 01.10.23 to 31.03.24 on phosphatic and potassic (P&K) fertilizers. The subsidy will be provided to the fertilizer companies as per approved and notified rates so that fertilizers are made available to farmers at affordable prices," Thakur said.

In the 2023-24 budget the government had allocated 1.75 trillion for fertiliser subsidies and spent 55% of it in the first five months. In 2022-23 the fertilizer subsidy surged to a record-high of 2.55 lakh crore.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Puja Das
Puja Das is a New Delhi based policy reporter covering food, farm, fertiliser, water, and climate policies for Mint. Puja reports on farmers' distress and how the agriculture sector is impacting India's rural economy and policy initiatives to help meet the pledges made at COP27. Puja holds a post-graduation degree in Broadcast Journalism from the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media, Bangalore.
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Published: 25 Oct 2023, 05:06 PM IST
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