Facing a mounting subsidy burden and observing indiscriminate use of fertilisers, the government has constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM), likely to be headed by agriculture minister Sharad Pawar, to look into urea pricing. Apart from Pawar, the GoM will include finance minister P Chidambaram, fertiliser minister MK Alagiri and oil minister M Veerappa Moily.
“The government has formed a GoM, which will most likely be headed by Sharad Pawar and it will look into the modified New Pricing Scheme (NPS) III for urea as well as consider earlier proposals for de-regulating the sector,” a senior fertiliser ministry official said.
Urea is the only fertiliser that remains under full price control. Its current retail price is R5,360 per tonne. The proposal to hike urea prices was made to redress imbalanced use of soil nutrients and reduce the government's subsidy burden.
Another senior official in the ministry said the department of fertilisers is not in favour of raising the prices of the key nitrogenous crop nutrient as farmers are already facing high prices of phosphatic (P) and potassic (K) fertilisers.