Urea, the commonly used and highly subsidised fertiliser, will be sold in the market in a 45-kg bag instead of 50-kg from this month, a move aimed to cut its consumption and promote balanced use of fertilisers.
A 45-kg urea bag will be sold at Rs 242 excluding taxes, a government notification said.
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The price is determined on the basis of governments fixed price of Rs 5,360 per tonne. The Centre bears the difference between the maximum retail price (MRP) and cost of production.
The government on Tuesday said it had introduced a 45-kg bag of urea in place of the existing 50-kg bag with a view to bringing down the consumption by 10 per cent. This decision was taken in September. Urea manufacturers have been given six months for smooth implementation. The consumption of urea stood at 296 lakh tonne last fiscal. Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers Rao Inderjit Singh said, "Since farmers mostly assess the requirement of urea in terms of bags for agriculture purposes, it is estimated that the availability of urea in 45-kg bags instead of 50 kg bags may bring down consumption of urea by 10 percent."
The purpose is to reduce urea consumption and promote balanced use of fertilisers. Since urea is cheaper than other fertilisers, farmers are using this product widely, he said.
"Normally, farmers use urea by counting number of bags for each hectare of land. When farmers are told to reduce the number of 50-kg bags, they do not listen. So, the government has decided to promote use of 45-kg bag as a trick to reduce consumption," he added.
As per the notification, the sale of 45-kg bag is effective March 1, 2018.
The government has also permitted dealers to sell urea in smaller quantities not exceeding 25 kg.