From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Nutrient based subsidies for fertilizers
Mains level : various initiatives for reducing input costs for farmers
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the proposal of the Department of Fertilizers for fixation of Nutrient Based Subsidy Rates for P&K Fertilizers for the year 2019-20.
Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) Scheme
- The NBS Scheme for fertilizer was initiated in the year 2010 and is being implemented by the Department of Fertilizers.
- Government is making available fertilizers, Urea and 21 grades of P&K fertilizers to farmers at subsidized prices through fertilizer manufacturers/importers.
- Under the scheme, a fixed amount of subsidy decided on an annual basis is provided on each grade of subsidized Phosphatic and Potassic (P&K) fertilizers, except for Urea based on the nutrient content present in them.
- It is largely for secondary nutrients like N, P, S and K and micronutrients which are very important for crop growth and development.
- In India, urea is the only controlled fertilizer and is sold at a statutory notified uniform sale price.
What NBS provides?
- The scheme allows the manufacturers, marketers, and importers to fix the MRP of the Phosphatic and Potash fertilizers at reasonable levels.
- The MRP will be decided considering the domestic and international prices of P&K fertilizers, inventory level in the country and the exchange rates.
- The NBS ensures that adequate quantity of P&K is made available to the farmers at a statutory controlled price.