New policy on fertiliser sector soon : Paswan

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Mumbai, Jan 2 (UNI) In order to boost healthy competition in production and distribution in the fertiliser sector, the government proposes to make a new policy in this field, Minister for Chemicals, Fertilisers and Steel Ram Vilas Paswan said here today.

He said that the government would soon come out with new investment policies in respect of both nitrogen and phosphate sectors.

It would be benchmarked to international standards and would encourage healthy competition and efficiency both in production and distribution. The government is actively considering various options for an investment policy, which would be attractive to investors, added the Minister.

The Minister said the government is working out the modalities for encouraging fortified fertilisers to add vital micro nutrients to the soil.

He added that the direct subsidy on fertiliers is not working in favour of the farmers.

The government is considering the inclusion of sulphur as a subsidized nutrient in the subsidy regime since there is sulphur deficiency in many regions of the country, he added.

Expressing concern over the indigenous fertiliser industry's reluctance to import DAP during the current year, the minister said, while the government has made sincere efforts to address the problems of the fertilisers industry, the industry has not reciprocated as far as DAP imports were concerned.

The unprecedented increase in the international prices of fertilisers and fertiliser inputs, Mr Paswan said, cannot be justified solely by the increase in cost of production. He said, the price increase is having significant impact on government subsidies, which is becoming unsustainable.

He urged the international suppliers to keep their long term relationship with India in perspective. The Minister said, the need of the hour is an immediate correction in these price trends. He called upon the industry to increase awareness of farmers through extension services saying the efforts of the government should be synergised by the industry to provide best solution to the farmers.

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