Large number of farmers buying fertilisers above MRP: Official auditor

August 5th, 2011 - 6:50 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 5 (IANS) Even though the government spends huge amounts as subsidies on fertilisers, a survey by the official auditor has revealed that about 45 percent of farmers were buying fertilisers at prices higher than the maximum retail price.

“Forty-five percent of the surveyed farmers indicated that they had bought fertilisers at prices higher than the MRPs, while 56 percent indicated that they did not know of the MRPs for fertilisers fixed by the government,” said the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in the performance audit of fertiliser subsidy.

The fertiliser subsidy, including issue of fertiliser bonds, touched Rs.96,603 crore in 2008-09 before coming down to Rs.61,636 crore in 2009-10.

The CAG said a performance audit of the subsidy regime had become important as the huge differences between the subsidised prices and production cost had made it hugely profitable to divert these subsidized fertilisers to non-agricultural purposes.

The CAG survey, which was carried out among 5,498 farmers also said that 59 percent of the farmers faced problems in getting their requirement of fertilisers in time, while 51 percent indicated that they did not have enough money to buy their full requirement of fertilisers.

In another survey of 1,092 fertiliser dealers, the CAG reported that 57 percent of the dealers were not getting required quantity and type of fertilisers in time.

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