Pranab Mukherjee, Union Finance Minister, while presenting the Union Budget in Lok Sabha today, said that a Nutrient Based Subsidy Policy for the fertilizer sector has been approved by the government and will become effective from April 1, 2010. This policy is expected to promote balanced fertilization through new fortified products and focus on extension services by the fertilizer industry. This will lead to an increase in agricultural productivity and consequently better returns for the farmers. The policy is further expected to reduce volatility in the demand for fertilizer subsidy in addition to containing the subsidy bill. The government will ensure that nutrient based fertilizer prices for transition year 2010-11, will remain around MRPs currently prevailing. The new system will move towards direct transfer of subsidies to the farmers, Shri Mukherjee added.
The Minister informed the House that an Expert Group that was set up to advise the government on a viable and sustainable system of pricing of petroleum products has submitted its recommendations and apprised that a decision on these recommendations will be taken in due course