"The introduction of the Nutrient Based Subsidy Scheme (NBS) by the Government of India from 1st April, 2010, coupled with an unreliable supply of fertilisers to the State is indeed threatening to deprive our farmers of their basic means of sustenance and livelihood," she said in a letter to Singh.
The NBS policy had given the "liberty" to manufacturers and importers of chemical fertilisers to fix the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) based on cost of production or import and "since then, these fertiliser companies have been hiking the retail price of fertilisers at will, causing extreme hardship to farmers," she said.
Consequently, prices of various fertilisers had gone up between 247 per cent to 262 per cent during this time, she said. "To add insult to injury," the Department of Fertilisers had reduced the subsidy for 2012-13 for DAP to Rs 14,350 per MT from Rs 19,763 fixed last year, and for MOP to Rs 14,400 per MT as against Rs 16,054 per MT last year, she said.
"I understand that the Department of Fertiliser has also proposed a hike of another 10 per cent in urea prices and has planned to cut subsidies further on the pretext of subsidising bio-fertilisers. Faced with a steep price rise and having to digest a sharp reduction in subsidy, our farmers have been hit hard in terms of economic returns from farming," she said.
She said she had tried to mitigate the "blow" delivered by the Central Government by waiving the four per cent Value Added Tax on the sale of fertilisers providing "some relief" for the farmers.Holding that the state had faced a short supply of various fertilisers during the Kharif season 2011 she said that the supply of the same continues to be "dismal" and urged for allocation of estimated full requirement of DAP for the kuruvai (short-term) cultivation which was already underway.
"I also request you to issue immediate directions to the Department of Fertilisers to allocate the full requirement of fertilisers for Tamil Nadu so that our farmers are not faced with fertiliser shortages. I shall be thankful for your personal intervention in the matter," she said.