NEW DELHI: The government has not yet taken a final decision on implementation of direct cash transfer of fertiliser subsidy to farmers, Fertiliser Minister D V Sadananda Gowda informed Parliament on Tuesday.
However, the government has implemented Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) system in fertiliser sector under which subsidy is released to the fertiliser companies on weekly basis, on the basis of actual sales made by the retailers to the beneficiaries through Point of Sale (PoS) devices installed at each retailer shop, he said.
About 2.26 lakh PoS devices/ desktop software have been installed at retail outlets across the country.
Beneficiaries are identified through Aadhaar Card, Voter Identity Card, etc, he added.
Stating that Direct Cash Transfer (DCT) of fertiliser subsidy to farmers has been under discussion at various forums, the minister said a Committee of Secretaries headed by the Cabinet Secretary, set up to develop the broad contours of the DCT framework, recommended setting up of a nodal committee.
Accordingly, a nodal committee was set up in June 2020 and thereafter held two meetings in this regard.
"However, no decision has yet been taken for implementation of Direct Cash Transfer of fertiliser subsidy to farmers," the minister said.
Further in May 2020, Gowda had said the Fertilizers Ministry constituted Chintan Shivir Working Group on DBT to farmers to examine the feasibility of introducing a direct fertilizer subsidy transfer to farmers, criteria for selection of farmers and their entitlement, criteria for determining the amount of subsidy to be transferred to farmers' accounts, periodicity of subsidy transfer, etc.
The Working Group has held several meetings with all the stakeholders.
However, no decision has yet been taken for implementation of DCT subsidy to farmers, he added.