Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure that prices of fertilizers are maintained at the present level.
"Contrary to your policy of doubling farmers ' income, to the dismay of one and all input costs have doubled in the last five years and the income of the farming community has declined, causing distress to farmers. The Government of India has turned a blind eye to the increasing prices of fertilizers in the last six years while encouraging states to take up campaigns to reduce Urea and DAP consumption," KCR said in a letter to Modi.
He said it is sad to note that the prices of the two most consumed fertilizers 28.28.0 and MoP (Muriate of Potash) have increased by more than 50 percent and 100 percent respectively in the last 90 days. "Instead of bearing the increasing import costs of raw materials and maintaining the prices of fertilizers at an affordable level to the farmers, the Government of India has chosen to pass the burden to the farmers," he said.
"You are also aware that the fuel consumption in the agriculture sector has increased manifold due to promotion of farm mechanization by the states. Even in the case of petrol/diesel prices, indiscriminate imposition of Cess across the board despite no increase in import price of crude oil has added great distress to the farmers. Due to faulty policies of the Government of India in both the cases of petrol/diesel pricing and fertilizers pricing the farmers are bearing the brunt", he said.
He said these steps are causing great anxiety to the farmers. "Seven-decade old fertilizer subsidy regime under the purview of Government of India is being modified against the interest of the farming community," he said.
Telangana State legislature has passed a unanimous resolution to integrate MGNREGA with agriculture activity so that the cost of labor is partially borne by the governments along with farmers; so far the Government of India chose not to respond.
"I submit that by raising the fertilizers prices, increasing fuel prices, and faulty fixation of MSP prices, the Government of India is not only contributing to increase in the cost of cultivation to the farmers but also defaulting on the promise of doubling farmer's income", he said.
KCR said these policies coupled with the threat of proposed reforms in the agriculture electricity distribution sector by fixing power consumption meters are causing a great deal of anxiety to the hard-working farmers of our country. "On behalf of the farmers, I request the Government of India to ensure that the cost of fertilizers is maintained at the present level," he said.