The BJP Kishan Morcha on Sunday threatened to launch a nationwide stir from August 20 to protest the price hike of chemical fertilisers, the basic agricultural input. It demanded rollback of their price hike.
“Spiraling prices of chemical fertilisers have proved taxing for farmers. Decontrol of fertiliser prices and new nutrition-based subsidy too have led to difficulty in the availability of fertilisers,” morcha national president OP Dhankar told a media conference here.
The price of Di-ammonium Phosphate (DAP) has increased by 2.5 times since 2010 while that of Muriate of Potash (MoP) has risen by 3.75 times and Single Super Phosphate (SSP) doubled, he said.
“The so-called nutrition-based subsidy has become nutritious for importers and producers as well as the Centre instead of bringing the much-needed relief to the farmers,” Dhankar said.
Since 2010 nutrition-based subsidy has been imposed on mixed fertilisers and the right to fix prices lies with manufacturers and exporters, the BJP leader said and alleged that cut in fertiliser subsidy from Rs 1 lakh crore in 2008-09 to Rs 63,000 crore has made the farmers’ condition pathetic.
Though 93 kinds of fertilisers are available in the market, subsidy is available only on 23 types. Only urea is under old control policy and its price was increased by 10 per cent in 2010, he said.
Accusing the Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre of failing to help drought-affected farmers, the morcha demanded moratorium on loan repayments till the next crop and interest waiver on agriculture loans in drought-hit areas.
“The Centre has failed to provide adequate relief to drought-hit farmers. It should immediately release interim instalment of relief to states without any prejudice,” the BJP leader said.
The Government should immediately declare drought relief of Rs 10,000 per acre and rollback the hike in prices of fertilisers, Dhankar said. Farmers across the country would stage a demonstration in Delhi on August 20, he added.
BJP president Nitin Gadkari and former president Rajnath Singh would join the dharna, he claimed.