The fertiliser subsidy arrear touched about Rs 23,284 crore till December 2018, the government told the Rajya Sabha Friday, saying that some of it would be cleared with available funds and the remaining on receipt of additional funds.
In a written reply to the Upper House, Minister of State for Fertilisers Rao Inderjit Singh said the government is releasing subsidy to fertiliser companies on a regular basis subject to the availability of budget.
Placing the data before the Rajya Sabha, the minister said Rs 23,283.66 crore fertiliser subsidy was pending till December 2018.
Out of which, about Rs 11,293 crore subsidy is on domestic urea and Rs 2,341.16 crore on imported urea, while Rs 5,963 crore on imported phosphate and potassium fertilisers.
"The backlog of pendency will be cleared from the balance funds available for the current financial year 2018-19 and the remaining pendency will be cleared on receipt of additional funds," the minister said.
He said the government had a balance fund of Rs 13,056 crore till December 2018, while the expenditure was about Rs 60,383.79 crore.
The Budget Estimate for fertiliser subsidy was Rs 73,439.85 crore for the current fiscal.
To a separate query that the present system of certifying new fertilisers is time-consuming, the minister replied in negative.
To streamline the process of certification, he said the government has "simplified" the procedure for inclusion of new fertiliser in the Fertiliser Control Order (FCO).
The fertilisers are notified/specified on the recommendation of a central fertiliser committee set up under the 1985 FCO.
The minister also said a committee, constituted following a recommendation of a Parliamentary panel to set up a regulatory authority, is examining the existing mechanism of quality control of fertilisers and will submit its report shortly.