Govt to spend Taka 30,000cr as fertilizer subsidy this year: Razzaque

Agriculture Minister Dr M Abdur Razzaque today said the government will spend Taka 30,000 crore as fertilizer subsidy this year due to an unusual rise in its price in the international market, which is almost four times more than last year.

"The government will spend Taka 30,000 crore as fertilizer subsidy this year, where nearly Taka 27,000 crore has already been subsidized to this end," he said while exchanging views with journalists after a national coordination and advisory committee meeting on Fertilizer at the Secretariat here.

Dr Razzaque, also presidium member of ruling Awami League, said that due to the Covid situation, the prices of fertilisers worldwide have gone up dramatically, while the supply of fertiliser is being disrupted because of the war between Ukraine and Russia.

After all, fertilizer subsidy cost this year has reached Taka 30,000 crore which is four times higher than the subsidy spent in last year as Taka 7,717 crore was spent as subsidy in 2020-21 fiscal.

Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun, Chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on Agriculture Ministry Begum Matia Chowdhury, lawmaker Joaherul Islam from Tangail-8, Agriculture Secretary M Sayedul Islam, Industries Secretary Zakia Sultana and Additional Agriculture ministry's secretary Balaikrishna Hazra, among others, attended the meeting.

At present, the minister said food security is very much important as the global pandemic coupled with Ukraine-Russia war have spiraled the price of the essentials.

Even the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) recently said that the food price has increased a record high across the world particularly in March.

"It is feared that global food crisis has become more intensive," the minister told journalists.

Referring to Taka 30,000 crore as subsidy is a rare event throughout the world, Dr Razzaque said there is no single instance of providing subsidy of such huge amount, adding that pressure is mounting by various international agencies including the World Bank to reduce subsidy.

But Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who is familiar as farmers friendly had decided to provide subsidy ignoring continuous pressure by the international organizations.

In 2021-22 fiscal years, the fertilizer price has jumped up to three folds, but the present farmers friendly government does not raise the fertilizer price at the farmers' level.

In 2022-23 fiscal years, country's total chemical fertilizer demand has been ascertained to nearly 67 lakh tonnes ---of the net demand--26 lakh tonnes of urea, 7 lakh tonnes of TSP, 15 lakh tonnes of DAP, 7.50 lakh tonnes of MoP, 5.50 lakh tonnes of Zipsum and 1.41 lakh tones of Zink Sulphate.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)