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Pro-farmer budget; no plans to raise urea prices: Kumar

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Terming the budget as pro-farmer, Fertiliser Minister Ananth Kumar today said the government did not hike the prices of urea despite despite the rise in gas rates.

The minister also said that "as of now" there are no plans to increase the prices.

"The government budget is pro-farmers, despite increase in prices of gas, which is used as feedstock for producing urea, the government has not increased urea prices and as of now there are no plans to increase it," Kumar told reporters here.

The Budget has raised the fertiliser subsidy by Rs 2,000 crore to Rs 72,968.56 crore, he added.

Out of the total subsidy, Rs 38,200 crore allotted for domestic urea production and Rs 12,300 crore for of urea. The remaining Rs 22,468.56 crore has been earmarked on sale of decontrolled P&K fertilisers.

Welcoming the move to establish three new National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) in Maharashtra, and Chhattisgarh, Kumar said this step will help in reducing the dependency on of drugs.

In the budget, customs duty on import of phosphoric acid has been reduced to 5 per cent from 7.5 per cent. Similarly, the duty on various other chemicals have also been reduced by up to 5 per cent.

Industry body Fertiliser Association of India (FAI) termed the budget as "disappointing".

"Nothing has been mentioned about fertilisers in the budget, it is very disappointing. The susbisy arrears are about to touch Rs 40,000 crore while the government has kept allocation of it more or less at the last year's level," FAI Director General Satish Chander said.

First Published: Sat, February 28 2015. 20:28 IST