Punjab government has enforced a ban on fertilizer distribution companies that were contravening the government’s fertilizer policy. On the other hand, the companies blame the government to have forced their hand.
The government subsidizes supply of diammonium phosphate (DAP) to farmers by issuing vouchers to these companies. However the vouchers have been blocked as the ban was imposed on the fertilizer distribution companies.
A spokesperson from Punjab Agriculture Department told the media.
To ensure cent per cent transparency of all vouchers that are not packed with fertilizer bags have been blocked and only registered farmers can get advantage of the subsidy scheme.
He further insisted that supply of DAP fertilizer is proceeding in a transpicuous way under ‘Khadam-e-Punjab Kissan Package’. 5.2 million Farmers are benefitting from the project as government partially sponsors the fertilizer supply. The project of subsidizing fertilizer was initiated in July 2017. The companies were selling a single bag of fertilizer for Rs 2638 to Rs 2670 when government decided to provide relief to the farmer.
Companies’ Response – What Subsidy?
The fertilizer companies are claiming that government hasn’t released the due subsidized amount yet. The amount totals to Rs 15 billion and if the government doesn’t release this money by the end of November, companies will look at other options. As per sources, if the companies’ demands aren’t met, they will consider selling of urea by the end of December, which will see a shortage in the coming Rabi season.
Supply of Urea and DAP
As per the import data DAP seems to be well stocked for the Rabi season of 2017-2018. The government, though, says the DAP may face a slight shortage due to low import and production.
The food ministry says sufficient Urea is available to ensure constant supply during crop season, however sources are saying that it may face a shortage when demand will increase during the Rabi season.
The National Food Security and Research Ministry has directed all provinces to take solid measures to ensure sufficient supply of all fertilizers.