Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure that fertilizer prices are maintained at current levels.
“Contrary to your policy of doubling farmers’ incomes, much to everyone’s dismay, input costs have doubled in the past five years and the incomes of the farming community have declined, causing distress to farmers. The Government of India turned a blind eye to the increase in fertilizer prices over the past six years while encouraging states to launch campaigns to reduce consumption of urea and DAP,” KCR said in a letter to Modi.
He said he was sad to see that the prices of the two most consumed fertilizers 28.28.0 and MoP (Muriate of Potash) have increased by more than 50% and 100% respectively in the last 90 days. “Instead of bearing rising import costs of raw materials and keeping fertilizer prices affordable for farmers, the Indian government has opted to put the burden on farmers,” he said.
“You also know that fuel consumption in the agricultural sector has increased dramatically due to the promotion of agricultural mechanization by the States. Even in the case of gasoline/diesel prices, the indiscriminate imposition of Cess on all levels despite no increase in the import price of Crude oil has added great distress to the farmers.Due to the faulty policies of the Indian government in the cases of petrol/diesel pricing and oil prices fertilizer, farmers are the most affected,” he said.
He said these measures are causing great anxiety to farmers. “The seven-decade-old fertilizer subsidy scheme under the tutelage of the Indian government is being changed against the interest of the farming community,” he said.
The Telangana State Legislature passed a unanimous resolution to integrate MGNREGA into agricultural business so that the cost of labor would be partially borne by the governments along with the farmers; so far, the Indian government has chosen not to respond.
“I argue that by raising fertilizer prices, raising fuel prices and mispricing MSP, the Indian government is not only contributing to the increased cost of cultivation for farmers but also failing to the promise of doubling farmers’ income,” he said.
KCR said these policies, coupled with the threat of proposed reforms in the agricultural electricity distribution sector by fixing energy consumption meters, are causing a lot of anxiety for hardworking farmers in our country. “On behalf of the farmers, I call on the Indian government to ensure that the cost of fertilizers is kept at the current level,” he said.