Chandigarh, June 20 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Monday asked the union chemicals and fertilisers ministry to implement its proposal to transfer fertiliser subsidy directly to the farmers on a pilot-basis first.
In a letter to Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister M.K. Alagiri on the concept paper of the proposed scheme, Badal said that in the current system, the farmer has to pay only the subsidised price of the fertiliser, whereas in the proposed system the farmer would have to first pay the market price and then have the subsidy reimbursed in his bank account.
This would cause unnecessary financial burden on the farmers, both in terms of the initial higher investment as well as the interest cost for the period it takes to get the subsidy reimbursed, Badal said.
‘Currently, the government of India gives subsidy only to a limited number of companies. In the new proposal, the subsidy was proposed to be released to crores of individual farmers at different times in the year,’ he said.
‘This would involve a huge logistical and financial exercise, with correspondingly higher chance of leakage and harassment to the individual beneficiaries. Though technology can provide a solution in the ultimate analysis, yet difficulties during the intervening period could be quite daunting,’ he added.
Punjab contributes over 60 per cent of the total food grain production, including wheat and paddy, to the national food grain kitty.