The government on Friday told fertiliser companies to roll back back the hike in maximum retail price (MRP) of non-urea fertilisers after some companies raised prices this week. "It has been decided that in the present circumstances there shall be no immediate increase in prices of fertilisers," said Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers.
The statement comes after fertiliser companies, including the country's largest seller Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO), raised prices by up to 58 per cent after rates of potash and phosphate jumped in the international market.
"Giving priority to the interest of the farming community, there won't be any increase in prices of fertilisers," Mandaviya said in a tweet.
किसानों के हित को प्राधान्य देते हुए फर्टिलाइजर्स की कीमत में कोई बढ़ोतरी नही होगी। pic.twitter.com/ueCGo8saiq- Mansukh Mandaviya (@mansukhmandviya) April 9, 2021
Retail prices of non-urea fertilisers -- Di-Ammonium Phosphate (DAP), Muriate of Potash (MoP) and NPK -- are determined by manufacturers. DAP is a widely used fertiliser by farmers after urea in India. The Centre, however, gives them fixed subsidies each year.
"...the Government of India had called a high-level meeting and directed fertiliser companies not to increase the price of DAP, MoP and NPK and fertiliser companies agreed with it. Farmers will continue to get DAP, MoP and NPK nutrients at old rates," Mandaviya said.
KRIBHCO, MCFL, Zuari Agro Chemicals and Paradeep Phosphates had increased retail prices of DAP to Rs 1,700 per bag with effect from April 1. Similarly, Chambal Fertiliser and Chemicals Ltd has also hiked DAP rates to Rs 1,600 per bag, while Indoram India Pvt Ltd had increased it to Rs 1,495 per bag.
On Thursday, IFFCO, which had published the new rate of Rs 1,700 per bag on fresh DAP stock, clarified that it wasn't for farmers and was tentative cost. The fertiliser cooperative will sell the old stock of 11.26 lakh tonnes at the old rate of Rs 1,200 per bag, an IFFCO spokesperson said.
US Awasthi, CEO and MD, IFFCO, tweeted, "I have instructed our marketing team to sell only previously packed material with old rates to farmers. We always take decisions on farmer's first approach."
(With inputs from agencies)