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What is PM-PRANAM Scheme and How it will Help Farmers?

The PM-PRANAM will incentivize those states that use fewer chemical fertilizers in a particular year as compared with the average quantity used over a period of past 3 years.

Sandeep Kr Tiwari
The budget for the Indian government in 2022–2023 is Rs. 1.05 lakh crore.
The budget for the Indian government in 2022–2023 is Rs. 1.05 lakh crore.

The Union government is planning to launch a new scheme ‘PM PRANAM’, which stands for PM Promotion of Alternate Nutrients for Agriculture Management Yojana, to encourage states to reduce the use of chemical fertilizer.

The proposed scheme aims to reduce the burden of subsidies on chemical fertilizers, which is projected to rise to Rs 2.25 lakh crore in 2022–2023, which is 39% higher than the previous year’s figure of Rs 1.62 lakh crore.

What is PM PRANAM Scheme?

The government of India plans to launch the PM PRANAM scheme, which will grant the state that saves 50 percent of subsidy savings, even though overall fertilizer use has increased significantly over the past five years.

The state must spend 70% of this on developing resources that will enable the technological adoption of alternative fertilizers as well as alternative fertilizer production facilities at the district, village, and block levels.

The state can utilize the remaining 30% to support and reward farmers, self-help organizations, panchayats, and self-help groups while simultaneously raising awareness and insisting on reducing the usage of fertilizers.

The government aims to draw a comparison between the state’s increase or decrease in the use of chemical fertilizers in a year to its average usage in the past three years. The government will perform this comparison using the iFMS, the dashboard for the ministry of Fertilizers.

It is interesting that the PM PRANAM scheme won't have a separate budget. The scheme will be funded through the “savings of existing fertilizer subsidy” offered by the department of fertilizers under various schemes.

Usage of Fertiliser in India

According to information provided by Bhagwanth Khuba, Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers in the Lok Sabha on August 5, the demand for four fertilizers—urea, DAP (di-ammonium phosphate), MOP (muriate of potash), and NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium)—has increased over the past five years by 21%, from 528.86 lakh metric tonnes in 2017–18 to 640.27 lakh metric tonnes.

The DAP (Di- ammonium Phosphate) had recorded a great rise of 25.44 percent from 98.77 LMT in the years 2017-18 to 123.9 LMT in the year 2021-22. In India, the most used chemical fertilizer is urea. The urea has seen an increase from 298 LMT in 2017-18 to 356.53 in 2021-22, which marks an increase of 25.44 percent.

According to the finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman “We have protected our farmers from such price increases despite rising fertiliser prices hikes. In addition to the fertiliser subsidy of Rs 1.05 lakh crore in the budget, an additional amount of Rs 1.10 lakh crore is being allocated to further support our farmers”.

As per the official records, the Indian government set up Rs 79,530 crore for the fertiliser subsidy in the Union Budget 2021–22. In the revised estimates (RE), the transaction climbed to Rs 1.40 lakh crore. In the fiscal year 2021–2022, the total came to approximately Rs 1.62 lakh crore.

The budget for the Indian government in 2022–2023 is Rs. 1.05 lakh crore. However, according to the minister of fertiliser, the annual subsidy amount could exceed Rs 2.25 lakh crore.

Current Status of the PM PRANAM Scheme

The PM-PRANAM initiative was proposed by the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, and top officials discussed its specifics with state government officials on September 7 as part of the National Conference on Agriculture for Rabi Campaign. On the suggested plan, the government has already started inter-ministerial discussions. Once the views of the concert department are incorporated, the draft of the PM PRANAM scheme will be finalized.

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