India’s fertiliser subsidy bill is likely to shoot up by 55 per cent to record Rs 2.5 lakh crore this fiscal as the government will provide additional funds to make up for the spike in cost from higher import price, top sources said on Thursday. The government will ensure that there is no shortage of fertilisers in the country during the kharif (summer-sown) and rabi (winter-sown) season and it is already in talks with major global producers to import key soil nutrients, they added.
According to the sources, Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Mansukh Mandaviya is likely to visit many countries, including Saudi Arabia, Oman and Morocco, soon to secure imports on both short and long term basis. “The government is working hard to ensure there is no shortage of fertilisers in the country,” said a top government functionary, and added that the country has sufficient stocks for the ongoing kharif season, and there would be no problems during the rabi season as well.
It is to be noted that fertiliser consumption during rabi season is 10-15 per cent more compared to the summer crops. The government will not increase retail prices of urea and also provide adequate subsidies to ensure that the maximum retail prices of non-urea fertilisers remain at the present level, the sources said.