The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) called the recent announcement made by the Prime Minister Office (PMO) on the old fertilizer prices and a 140% hike in subsidy on DAP fertilizer a big victory for all farmers. Its state chief Jayant Patil said that it was Sharad Pawar who had demanded the immediate rollback in fertilizer prices and gave credit to his boss for his timely intervention that led the central government to withdraw the price hike.
He said the government has responded to Pawar’s demand and reduced the prices. “Pawar raised the issue timely with the Government of India and they did the needful. The party is committed to the welfare of farmers and will keep fighting for their rights,” he said.
Pawar, in his letter on May 18 to Union Minister Sadanand Gowda, had termed the price hike ‘shocking’ and ‘unfortunate’ and said that it would directly hamper pre-sowing agricultural activities. In the future, it could also affect the production cost and the productivity of crops.
“The second wave of COVID-19 has impacted our people greatly and has devastated their means of livelihood. The farming community is reeling under one of the worst crises. Their issues need to be addressed immediately,” said Pawar. “The decision is shocking and it needs to be reviewed immediately,” he noted.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and state Agriculture Minister Dadaji Bhuse had also made a strong case for the roll back of fertilizer prices and said that it would hit farmers hard and they have already been affected by the pandemic.
The central government, on Wednesday, said that it was discussed that the price of fertilizers is undergoing an increase due to the rising prices of phosphoric acid and ammonia, amongst others, internationally. The prime minister stressed that farmers should get fertilizers at old rates despite the international rise in prices.
Further, the central government announced the increase in subsidy for DAP fertiliser from Rs 500 per bag to Rs 1,200 per bag, which is an increase of 140%.