In order to make essential fertilizers available to farmers at reasonable prices, the government has made it mandatory for fertilizer companies to print the maximum retail price (MRP) and available subsidy on each bag of P&K fertilizers, minister of state for chemicals and fertilizers Hansraj Gangaram Ahir informed the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
Replying to a question in the House, Ahir said under the existing mechanism put in place to monitor the prices of P&K fertilizers, sale of fertilizers above the printed price is punishable under the Essential Commodities Act.
Fertilizer companies have to necessarily submit alongwith their subsidy claims, the cost data of their fertilizer products from 2012-13 onwards in prescribed format on six monthly basis . The department has also appointed cost accountants / firms to scrutinise the said cost data to ensure that the prices fixed by the fertilizer companies are reasonable.
In cases, where after scrutiny, unreasonableness of MRP is established or where there is no correlation between the cost of production or acquisition and the MRP printed on the bags, the subsidy would be restricted or denied even if the product is otherwise eligible for subsidy under NBS scheme, the minister stated.
In proven case of abuse of subsidy mechanism, the department of fertilizers, on the recommendation of an inter-ministerial committee may exclude any grade/grades of fertilizers of a particular company or the fertilizer company itself from the NBS.