STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Bhubaneswar, 21 July
The phosphatic fertiliser industry across the country has taken a major hit last year due to skewed policies which resulted in contraction of demand as retail price of urea was less while subsidy on DAP was reduced resulting increasing prices of phosphatic fertilisers.
The long term adverse impact on soil conditions is given a go by as farmers tend to use more of the cheaper urea than the required quantity of DAP. The government needs to either hike the price of urea or lower the price of DAP by providing more subsidy.
These coupled with the fact that last year several parts of the country received less rainfall resulting in 2012-13 being one of the worst ever years for the phosphatic fertiliser industry in the country. The demand declined from 22 to 27 per cent, observed Mr S S Nandurdikar, MD, Paradip Phosphates Limited.
Providing a broader picture of the agricultural scenario, he said, the nutrient based policy introduced by the Central government had been done with the objective of achieving a balanced use of fertiliser for better and sustainable yield without destroying the soil. But urea was kept out of the nutrient based subsidy police and in the process huge distortion took place. The subsidy on phosphatic fertiliser decreased while on urea it was increased. If the farmer got a bag of urea at Rs 300, the same quantity of phosphatic fertiliser cost around Rs 1200, he noted.
Lack of demand resulted in unsold stock of over five million tons. The objective of the policy to encourage investments has failed and the industry is dependent on imports, he observed.