Most non-urea fertiliser subsidies unchanged; Rs 22875 to be spent on sops

The government on Wednesday notified the subsidy on most non-urea fertilisers and kept them unchanged from their 2018-19 levels, except for sulphur, which it raised from Rs 2.72 per kg to Rs 3.56. 

The decision will cost the exchequer Rs 22,875 crore in the 2019-20 fiscal year.  

A decision in this regard was taken at the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“The CCEA approved NBS (nutrient-based subsidy) rates for phosphatic and potassic (P&K) fertilisers for the year 2019-20; expected expenditure during 2019-20 to be Rs 22,875 crore,” information and broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar told the media after the meeting.

The subsidy for nitrogen has been fixed at Rs 18.90 per kg, phosphorous at Rs 15.11 per kg, potash at Rs 11.12 per kg and sulphur at Rs 3.56 per kg for the current fiscal, he said.

This will help in promoting balanced use of fertilisers, the minister added.

“Usually, the government fixed the non-urea fertiliser subsidy in the months of February and March, but this year, it has been delayed. So, in a way, it is good that big changes haven’t been made. In the case of sulphur, the subsidy component has gone up as international market rates have firmed up,” a senior industry executive said.

In 2010, the government had launched the NBS programme under which a fixed amount of subsidy, decided on an annual basis, is provided on each grade of subsidised P&K fertilisers. This is except for urea, based on the nutrient content present in them.

Retail prices of non-urea fertilisers such as di-ammonium phosphate (DAP), muriate of potash (MoP) and NPK are decontrolled and determined by manufacturers, while the Centre gives a fixed subsidy each year.

Other Cabinet Decisions

  • Nod to Bill seeking reduction in compliance burden of registered chit funds industry and protection of interests of subscribers. The Bill is aimed at fulfilling the objectives of reducing the regulatory or compliance burden of the registered chit funds industry as well as protecting the interest of subscribers
  • Acting on the request of the Chief Justice of India, the government on Wednesday decided to increase the number of Supreme Court judges to 33 from 30 at present, excluding the CJI. The move also comes against the backdrop of rising cases in the top court, which stands at nearly 60,000. At present, the sanctioned strength of the apex court is 30, excluding the CJI
  • Go-ahead to the setting up of ISRO Technical Liaison Unit in Moscow. The unit will enable effective technical coordination for timely interventions on diversified matters with Russia and other neighbouring countries for realisation of the programmatic targets of ISRO


On Reservation

  • Approval to Bill to provide up to 10 per cent reservation to Jammu and Kashmir’s economically-weaker sections in jobs and educational institutions

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