Raising the issue of rising prices and acute shortfall in supply of fertilisers, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding an immediate withdrawal of the Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) scheme introduced by Chemicals and Fertilisers Ministry in April 2010. She also asked the PM to ensure the State gets enough fertilisers for the Kuruvai season.
TN consumes 28 lakh metric tonnes of fertlisers annually, Jayalalithaa said, noting that NBS had given manufacturers and importers a free hand on pricing. “Since then, these fertiliser companies have been hiking the retail price of fertilisers at will, causing extreme hardship to farmers,” read her letter to the PM, dated June 26.
According to the ministry, NBS was introduced due t0 the declining response of agricultural productivity to higher fertiliser usage. So, farmers are given subsidy only on certain varieties based on nutrients contained in them, to ensure a balanced application of the fertilisers.